I hate spiders. Let’s get that out there up front.
So, why would someone with self-diagnosed arachnophobia move to USA’s spider central?
Like I’ve said before: I make bad decisions.
Spider season sucks.
In New Jersey, we had a “spider season,” which was usually from around June through late September. This was a time where I knew I should be on the lookout for over-sized arachnids and webs thick enough to use as hammocks. But there was a promise that these things would disappear as soon as October hit (oh, I love you, October).
In Florida? Spider season is perpetual. In fact, I’m convinced there are far more spiders here year-round than there are permanent residents.
How did I get over this self-proclaimed arachnophobia?
I did not. I once worked for a business down here which sold beautiful décor from Peru and a village in Costa Rica called Boruca. When the “rainforest masks” were delivered from Boruca, we had to carefully unwrap them and there was an absolute guarantee that there would be at least one spider stowaway in each mask.
I once saw a spider on my phone when I was out walking and immediately threw it to the pavement (it survived – the phone; I don’t know about the spider).
So, did I mention these masks are fragile?
I was very quickly banned from touching the masks. Instead, I was given vacuum duty to suck the little buggers up.
I still have nightmares of those spiders.
It was larger than a hamster.
Within my first year of living down here, we were cleaning up from dinner and I had a run-in with spider larger than a hamster, just vibing a little too close to my seat. It took my dad three hard smacks with my combat boot and a butcher’s knife to do it in.
Did you know you can’t overnight a flamethrower?
Sometimes I feel like Indiana Jones when running.
The amount of webs I have run through is astounding. If you add them all up from this past year, you probably would have enough webbing to knit a sweater for King Kong. You’d think after all this, I’d be desensitized, right?
I still squeal and swat, swerve and shrink at webs when I run through them – even if it’s just a single strand. Some lucky people have seen me put on a show trying to dodge these guys.
Think Elaine from Seinfeld.
Why am I still in Florida?
Well, I can’t let myself be run out of a whole state by spiders (though I will never move to Australia based on their spiders alone – that’s for sure). Maybe one day, I’ll find a way to get past my fears of the eight-legged devils. But why are they so scary? Most of them aren’t Steven-King-Novel-Sized.
Is it the extra legs?
Could it be their webs made of butt-string?
I don’t know. But while they’re great at keeping the “bad bugs” at bay (wait until I talk about mosquitos), I’m 100% nowhere near their number one fan.