Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Karma, Irony and Guilt - Lessons from a Spider

I’m usually up super early in the mornings to get in a power-walk and a bit of a writing session before work. Doing both, even if only for a bit and even when I don’t exactly feel like it, are a great start to get me energized and motivated for the day.

But one Monday morning when my alarm went off at its usual 3:30am wake-up call, I ‘gently’ turned off the alarm then rolled over and resumed dreaming about all things writerly. I decided to skip the walk but still get in a bit of writing as I rationalized I had been SUPER busy all weekend running around doing chores. I figured a day of rest wouldn’t hurt and allowed myself a ‘sleep-in’ until 5 am.

A little while later with my ‘sleep-in’ over and me sort of awake and dressed, I dragged my sorry self upstairs to my bathroom. Squinting against the bright bathroom light, I threw a facecloth in the sink and just as I was about to turn on the tap……


The biggest most horrendous house spider I have EVER seen in my life.

At first I thought it was one of my sons’ tarantulas. I’m not scared of his ‘pets’ but I was more concerned that the typically caged creatures had the potential of escape, never to be found again. He would be devastated if it ever happened – perfectly understandable. Closer inspection, however, revealed it was NOT one of his beloved darlings.

But then it moved and THAT, my dear readers, meant WAR.

Now before I continue with what happened next you should know that I truly DO love all creatures great and small. I truly didn’t wish to harm him/her. I just wanted him/her GONE.

So I whipped out my hair dryer and readied for battle.

Why a hair dryer you say? Well, because I had to blow that guy back down the drain from where he came, of course!

It would occur to me later that, in theory and technically speaking, it IS impossible for spiders to come up through a drain.


But I didn’t have time to worry about technicalities right then because when he took a few steps, I sprung in to action. My sole goal was to blow him down the drain, but I didn’t anticipate what blowing air does in a round, smooth sink. It spins things around like in a tornado, taking everything with it. So, of course, around and around went the spider. When I stopped for a split second to reassess my plan of attack he started running. Can you blame him? I would too!
I panicked some more then redirected my hair dryer to blow the air in a different angle – a better approach sure to direct him down the drain. Around and around the sink we chased each other and then….

…one wrong tilt of the hairdryer had the tornado blowing the poor defenseless spider up and out of the sink, through the air, and right at ME!

I screamed, yelled, squealed and all but begged for mercy from him, from God, from the Universe and from every deity possible. I twisted my already compromised ankle and pulled my already compromised back in my desperate attempt to get out of his way. He was after ME!

Luckily for both of us he landed on the bathmat. While he sat catching his breath on the mat, I kept my hair dryer trained on him like a Glock and stayed out of full range from his potential attack. Before I could whip out my bazooka, footsteps bounded and echoed up the stairs.

My dearest husband was roused from his slumber by my…antics…and had come to the rescue. He knew right away, before even getting near, what it was.

“Is it a spider?” He calmly – CALMLY – asked before he even rounded the corner. (I still don’t get how ANYONE could be CALM at a time like that!)

“IS IT A SPIDER?” I dared not take my eyes off the poor innocent offending creature as I challenged my husband’s silly question. “THIS is NOT a spider!” I spat. “This is….THIS IS….” I couldn’t continue.

And so he picked it up by his hands – by his BARE HANDS, I tell you – and carried the poor offending creature outside. I kept my Glock, I mean my hairdryer, trained on both of them, just in case. What if the spider bit my dear question-asking husband turning him all zombie-like? (This is the imagination of a writer, no matter what time of day).

And that was the end of that. My husband went back to bed without a second glance and I was left wishing I had a personal defibrillation unit.

As I finished getting ready for work (I had a bad hair day after that, and rightly so) I felt dumb. And guilty. And dumb. And guilty. Not only because of the way I OVERreacted about a defenseless creature that was a gazillion times smaller than me but also because, um, there are three tarantulas and two scorpions in residence one floor below my office/bathroom. Talk about irony.

I wondered if the spider showing up in my sink was Karma’s way of getting back at me for not getting up and out for my daily routine. But Karma had much more in stock for me. The guilt weighing me down for days after for taking a hairdryer to a poor defenseless creature was worse. Whether that’s considered Karma or not, I had that guilt comin’ to me. It was only fair – and truly deserved.

So at 5 o’clock on a Monday morning I had had lessons in Karma, irony and guilt, all rolled up into one tornado-like mess. All thanks to an eight-legged creature no bigger than the circumference of the end of my hairdryer.

And I as I write this, I realize now that the real irony was how I felt more guilty about the spider than for my husband having to bolt out of bed at that early hour.

(PS. I never wrote a single word that morning)

Thanks for reading!



  1. I don't know what is more horrifying--you blowing the spider back at you or your husband picking it up with his bare hands!! Might I suggest a clever device from Lee Valley? It's a spider (and general bug/fly/bee) catcher. It's plastic trap thingy on the end of a (too short) handle. It works really well for those of us terrified of spiders, but not wanting to kill them either. We had a scary spider incident the other day. I saw something crawling up our living room window and thought for a moment it was a really, really big ant, then I realized, ants don't get that big. It was a spider, the weirdest looking spider I've ever seen. I ran for the trusty spider catcher, but that sucker could move (and seemingly jump too), so I screamed for my husband, who like yours, knows what that scream means. He managed to catch it in the catcher and set it free. Then he tried to describe this strange spider. I told him to be quiet. I don't want details! Geesh. Check out the spider catcher for future spider encounters. :-)

    1. Ha! Ros! Thank you for this (excuse my delay in getting back to you!) Yes, I have taken your advice - thank you for that, and for sharing your experiences! Stay tuned, and at this time of year, be sure to keep your spider catcher nearby!!! thanks for reading!