Face to Face with a Wolf Spider: Not Good

2 01 2008

The following is a true story. I wish it were not, and I am risking my very manhood making it public, but it is true. When we moved into our house, we discovered it to be the shelter for a plethora of spiders. I believe this to be the result of two main factors: 1. It was a relatively new neighborhood and had previously been a field. 2. Our particular house was only about a year old when we bought it and had been vacant for a month or so due to the previous owner having to move for her job.

Many a spider had been enjoying the human-free environment, and when we moved in, it became a daily occurrence to have a standoff with one of the eight-leggers. Let me make this clear: I do not like seeing, hearing about, reading about, or having nightmares about spiders. I realize they do good things for us, such as kill unwanted pests, but I prefer they do that just outside of the house or in the crawlspace. Having said this, the majority of the spiders we came across were small and looked pretty harmless. Yeah, “most” but not “all.”

For those of you who are not aware of the wolf spider, think tarantula but smaller (not THAT much smaller, though). We had the misfortune of finding a couple of these suckers in our house the first couple of months. The story below is about the dark, early morning that we had our closest call with one of these things. (I’ll say this right now. I’m the type of person that does not really like to kill things, even flies, but…sorry PETA…I’m not letting large spiders run around in our house, nor am I likely to be able to stand trapping it and putting it outside).

My wife likes to work out. She does not often miss a day, not even on a holiday, not even when she has to get up in the extreme a.m. during the overtime hours of tax season (she’s an accountant). One dark, early morning, as I no doubt lay snoozing in bed, possibly having a dream that involved a deserted island and that main woman from Lost, I was startled awake by a frantic wife jumping into bed and yelling something about a big hairy spider on the floor of the closet. Upon gaining full comprehension, I learned that it was a wolf spider “the size of Texas” and that it was actually on top of her workout shirt, which was on the floor.

At this point, I’m thinking to myself, “That’s it. We have to move away. NOW.” It soon became clear that my beautiful wife expected me to do something about the spider. Subsequently, it became clear to her that I had no intention of going anywhere near our closet in the next 24 hours or so.

If you are a guy, or you know any guy, you’ll understand how brilliant her next move was. She calmly stated, “I can call my dad to come over and get it.” It took only seconds for the following thoughts to enter my mind: For the rest of my life, I’ll have to hear the story of how my wife had to wake her dad at 5 a.m. to come kill a spider while her husband hid under the covers. This is the dad who works a real man’s job and hunts. I’m the husband who likes to write and works in psychology. (I do play sports…I felt a real need to throw that in here).

At this point, I had no choice. I was going to have to face one of my worst fears. I slowly got up out of bed and peeked into the closet. There it was. It was big; it was gross; it was staring at me in a mocking fashion, it was basically saying, “I’m huge, and you’re a loser.” My pulse quickened, and I began to sweat. I started thinking maybe we SHOULD call her dad. Maybe we could just avoid all extended family functions in the future. No, that wouldn’t work. I knew I had to take care of the situation. With my wife clutching my back and looking over my shoulder, I picked up a shoe. I was suddenly wishing I had much bigger feet, maybe a size 50, but alas, I was stuck with a size 10. I approached the spider about as fast as a turtle approaches a rock. I walked (or was it that my wife pushed me) closer and closer. I was within a couple feet of the thing when my wife felt it prudent to scream, “It’s a wolf spider. They jump!” Adrenaline pumping, we both flew out of the closet. I nearly broke my arm on the doorway, but I didn’t care. I was sure the spider could do much worse things than that to me. Her screaming, and our running also caused the spider to take cover in the deep recesses of the closet. Once we regained the nerve to go back in, we were deeply saddened to learn that we were going to have to search for the spider.

After some tense shoe box moving, we finally found it in a corner. The whole “jumping” thing had thoroughly freaked me out, and I was no longer willing to go at the thing with a shoe. I was now armed with the extension arm of the vacuum cleaner. This way, I only had to get within a couple feet of the monster. I also was happy to avoid hearing any form of crunching sound that may have occurred if I used the shoe method. With a shaky hand, I turned on the vacuum and jabbed the extension arm toward the creature. After we sucked the thing up, (I think my wife screamed again at this point), we actually put the whole vacuum cleaner out in the garage, fearing that the thing might escape somehow. I believe it was out there for three days before I brought it back in.

So far, we have had no further (knock on wood) close encounters of the giant spider kind. I apologize in advance, but below is a picture link of one of these guys on top of someone’s hands, someone who is obviously very mentally ill.

Yuck





You Did What in Her Dream??

8 12 2007

Another of my nephews just tied the knot. The occasion set my mind to musing about marriage and relationships between men and women. Despite spending many years trying to figure these out, I can’t say I’ve reached full understanding at this stage. However, there are a few things that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the man MUST do:
1. The man must always apologize for any bad dream a woman has that in any way involves the man doing something unsavory (saying something mean, flirting with another woman, leaving his girlfriend/wife, not saving the woman from a monster, etc). Do us guys have any control over the subconscious mind of a woman? (Are you kidding, we have no control over the conscious mind, so forget the subconscious.) No, but we must apologize anyway when the woman wakes us suddenly to tell us what we just had the nerve to do in her dream. If we do not, we are likely to get an arms-crossed stare until we say I’m sorry. Just get it over with and tell her you’ll never do that in her dream again.
2. Always be ready to act when the woman is feeling uncomfortable in any eating situation, even in obscure, unexpected moments. For example, you find yourself on a date at a Mexican restaurant, and your wife/girlfriend, who was famished after having only an instant breakfast for lunch, just happens to finish her plate quickly and, for once, beats you in doing so. When the waiter (not the one who brought the food or subsequently cleared the woman’s plate from the table) sees you still working on your plate and sees an empty spot in front of the lovely young lady, and that waiter mistakenly believes the lovely lady perhaps never got her meal to begin with (because she could not have finished it already), step in and quickly assure the waiter that everything is copasetic so that he will not continue this line of questioning. Then, quickly assure the lady that she looks beautiful, that you are just eating uncharacteristically slowly (perhaps because you are mesmerized by what she is wearing…more on that below), and that she had every reason to be hungry since she had been practically starving herself all day, slaving away on the stepmill at the gym, etc.
3. When your wife/girlfriend tries on a new outfit for you, it will take a minimum three times repeating that you like it (possibly four if the woman is feeling “fat” that day). Phrases such as, “Yes, I mean it; it looks great” and, “No, I am not just saying that” and, “Yes that color is awesome on you” will be necessary on your part. Also, the man must look directly at the outfit for no fewer than three seconds before saying anything, or he will definitely hear, “You didn’t even look at it.” When you hear this, you have failed and must start the outfit-viewing process all over again (possibly with shoes added as a punishment for your lack of attention the first time). As you can remember from the days of Pacman, Donkey Kong, and Galaga, it stinks to have to start a phase over again when you thought you were so close to completing it.








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.