who the heck knows anything, anyway

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

may 22 - having spider feelings when I could be putting groceries away

I had to squish two spiders today. They were the very scary kind, and they were hanging out in very inconvenient, non-cup-coverable places, but I hate killing spiders. 

I wasn't afraid of them when I was a kid. One of my great aunts was a teacher and had many animals at her house--these most memorably including a small horse and a tarantula. You can bet your butt that I held that strangely delicate eight-legged chonk.* No fear. I remember thinking it was pretty cool, and strange that anyone would find it scary.

Around this age (nine, I think?) I regularly read the stories and histories of a ton of different mythologies, including (as was popular in the 90's, I think) plenty of Greek myths.** The story of Arachne stuck in my tender, impressionable, little kid heart--I was sad for Arachne, and disappointed by my previously favorite Greek goddess, Athena.*** So for my whole childhood, I was dedicated to the scoop-and-release method of dealing with spiders, because I knew it was cruel (and bad luck) to kill a spider.

Then I hit my mid-teen years. I developed an OCD/BP-II paranoia that they--the spiders native to and well acquainted with my basement bedroom--would crawl into any and every orifice my body if whatever pre-sleeping conditions weren't met.**** Not pleasant. Very bad for quality of sleep.

But still: the guilt. Through all those/these years, the guilt remains. The spiders I squished today were truly terrifying (one was still small but had that huge abdomen that makes your brain scream "POISON. BAD." and the other one was big and long and very dark black and looked like a smaller version of the ones I used to see in my bedroom), but both my kid and suspicious brain spaces get upset with me for being cruel and tempting fate to cash in on the bad luck. 

I hope the fact that I apologize to them every time makes it a little more ok. It probably doesn't. Why couldn't the Greek origin story be swapped with Actaeon, where he gets turned into a spider instead of a stag and is happily stepped on by Artemis, leading to early artistic renditions of Big Lady, Please Steppy? There are plenty of other insects that use thread. Make the weaving story about silk worms or something. Everybody loves silk worms! They make nice, soft things. Sigh.

All that aside: for better or worse, I can't blame this dumb week on bad spider luck; pretty confident I didn't do any arachnicide on Monday. It's been a real long week, and it's only 3pm on Wednesday. Although it was already a long week by Monday afternoon, sooooo    ¯\_( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)_/¯

*I also saw Newsies for the first time at her house! Very formative trip.

**see: Disney's 1997 animated film Hercules

***And I think we all read at least one book about Anansi/Ananse, right? Everyone's so into Loki. Loki is overrated. Let's get an Anansi show.

****The bedbug breakdown of 2007--no actual bedbugs were involved, but I thought they were--happened when I was in college. Same bedroom, coincidentally. This one was arguably worse. Hotel rooms and I still have quite the complicated relationship.