I’d like to tell you a story about a spider. No, this isn’t the story about the exploding spider, but if you really want to hear about that one, I’ll tell it in another post. This is the story of when I moved out to live on my own for the very first time…

It all started when I received a BIG Christmas bonus at work (remember when they gave those out?), and so I felt that I had enough money to finally be able to step out into the big, bad world and live alone with my big, bad self. After a very short search through the newspaper (remember when they gave those out?) I found a cute little basement suite in the small town next to the very small town that I grew up in. I packed up all my clothes, (and my boxes and boxes of knick-knacks that I had been buying and hoarding for years, just waiting for the moment when I could decorate my OWN place), and drove away into the sunset.

The trouble started when I realized that the people who lived above me had hardwood floors. And twin 4yr old boys. Who, apparently, delighted in tossing bouncy balls down the stairs. It kind of sounded like this:

*Scream!* BOUNCEBOUNCEBOUNCEBOUNCEBOUNCEBOUNCE – THUDTHUdTHudThudthudthudthud… *Scream!* THUNDERTHUNDERTHUNDERTHUNDER down the stairs… (pause)… THUNDERTHUNDERTHUNDERTHUNDER up the stairs. *Scream!* BOUNCEBOUNCEBOUNCEBOUNCEBOUNCEBOUNCE – THUDTHUdTHudThudthudthudthud… *Scream!*… for hours. HOURS. Yes, it really was as awesome as you’re imagining. I regret not recording it for posterity.

However, as horrendous as that was, it was nothing compared to the moment when I came home from work at 10:30pm, flicked on the light and watched as four wolf spiders (Google them yourself, dammit!) scurried under the couch. I. Did NOT. Just. See. That. Please, for the love of god, tell me that I did not just see that. Of course I saw that. It was confirmed when I went into my bedroom and saw another one scurry under the pile of stuffed animals I had so lovingly arranged on my floor.

Now, to get a wee bit of context, I HATE spiders. Like loathe. Like, fear, dislike, detest, abhor, hate. They make me want to vomit, especially if I see them move. This has a lot to do with the exploding spider, but that’s a story for another time.

So anyway, at this stage in the game, I do what any self-respecting woman would do – I called my best friend. Her name is Min. I don’t remember much about that phone call, but she says that it sounded something like…

“MIN!OHMYGODMIN!SPIDERS!SPIDERS!!!MIIIIIIN!!!”, or something of that serene nature. By that point I was standing on my bed, bawling my face off and screaming at Min about the fact that there were wolf spiders in my perfect home. Just then, two more spiders ran out from my closet and darted toward the living room. Here, is where I lost my f*cking mind.

Min, good friend that she is, told me to stop crying and just breathe… she is insane. I could do neither of those things. She is a terrible, terrible friend. She asked me if I had any ‘Raid’, and I replied that I did, but it was in the goddamn living room cabinet. Somehow thinking that my bed was a safe haven, (I had obviously blocked out the whole spider-crawling-up-the-bedskirt possibility) I refused to move from it until some guy with a blowtorch came in and rescued me. Min asked if I had anything I could at least kill the spider in my room with. I looked around and saw the only thing within reaching distance with which I could inflict spider-damage…

Me: Uhh, umm… my sword! My dancing sword!

Min: Ok! Grab it! Get it!

Me: *grabs sword and unsheathes it* I’VE GOT IT, MIN!

Min: Ok, you’re going to have to move the stuffed animals so that you can see the spider in your room…

Me: NO! I don’t want to! NO!!

Min: Yes! Just do it! DO IT! Do it while you’re brave, while I’m with you!

Me: *pokes animal pile aside until the spider is visible* Ohgodohgodohgod*SCREAM!*IseeitIseeitIseeitIseeit!

Min: Now STAB IT! STAB THAT SPIDER! GOGOGOGOGO!!

And so, with extra human bravery, I screamed a primal scream, and lunged at the spider. I ran the bastard through with the sword while Min was screaming encouragement at me through the phone. I then screamed louder, (because it was disgusting), and ran out of my bedroom, straight out the front door, and into my car. I sat in the car, sobbing, as Min sat on the line telling me how proud she was of me, and that I was safe and could, you know, try breathing now.

I slept in my car that night, and the next day I went to the used book store and got a set of 1970’s Encyclopedias (I’m not kidding), returned home, and promptly set about dropping heavy, heavy tomes onto creepy, creepy spiders. It was the only weapon I could think of that could guarantee certain death, and allow me not to look at multiple spider corpses. Of course I’ve never been able to look at Encyclopedias the same way since, but it was worth it.

Needless to say, I gave my notice shortly thereafter. My beau at the time was kind enough to clean up the Encyclopedias and spider carcasses, and did the majority of the packing. I moved back home. I lost a month’s rent and the damage deposit (the carpet needed steam-cleaning to dissolve the ground-in spider bits), and learned some very valuable lessons.

1) No more knick-knacks. Ever. They take far too long to pack in spider-related emergencies.

2) Always keep your phone and dancing sword close by.

3) Always keep an unquestioning and supportive friend close by.

4) Never, ever live in a basement suite.

Happy Monday, everyone – may it be spider-free and friend-full.

xo

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