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Ask a Spider

My only problem with anything posted on your site is the spiders! And I’ve only ever seen two (but both recently!) pictures on the front page, but seriously — mini heart attack both times! Is there any way there could maybe not be spiders on the main page? Like maybe instead there could be a picture of the word spiders warning us poor arachnaphobes of what’s inside?

Oh jeez.

For the love of god, please stop with the spiders. I beg of you.

You know what? Honestly, I sense that what you’re feeling isn’t so much genuine dread as it is the relishing of an opportunity to be melodramatic about your own special fears. You’re afraid of spiders. You are. More than anyone! It is a picture of a spider. It is a picture of a spider on a website.

And yeah, it occurred to me that arachnophobia might be truly problematic for some people, and I might be being insensitive. But then again we all have phobias, no? For instance, I live in fear of getting squished to death if I forget to get out of this woman’s shoe in time. Literally a day doesn’t pass. I also live in fear that she’ll wake up while I’m eating the chapstick off her lips at night. I also live in fear that she’ll shower so thoroughly my babies won’t come to term in the [clickety clickety clickety] where I laid them. And so forth. But I don’t let my fears govern me. That being said, I don’t want to drive people away, so maybe we can arrange some kind of “after the jump” type thing. But also. You guys.

I’m insanely arachnophobic! Please stop posting scary spider pix! I can’t shriek in horror at my desk!

Hmm. I’ve seen a lot of relationships blossom — admittedly, outside the workplace — when a woman flipped out over a bug and the person she was dating took care of it for her. Sort of an unexpected, sexually alluring dynamic shift. Maybe. Maybe I’m making that up, who knows.

And this is kind of a sad story, but whatever. I once had a friend named Jennifer who lived in a New York apartment with a female blogger. It was just the two of them, and they became exceptionally close. I mean, Jennifer became close to the blogger — for the longest time the blogger wasn’t even aware that a spider was sharing the space with her. But it was cool, because Jennifer felt like her attachment to the blogger was strong enough to make up for … well, if not everything than a lot. Who knows — that may have been her first mistake. Days, weeks, months passed. Jennifer became so familiar with the blogger’s routines that she eventually felt confident she could reach out to her. To break the silence, I guess, and present herself in a way that let the blogger know she wasn’t just some random spider but a kindred spirit. And she knew from all her many days of quiet observation that the blogger was particularly fond of white wine, so one day she snuck into the refrigerator.

What happened next is so much of a mystery to me that I still don’t know what truly went down. But my friend Jennifer found the blogger’s white wine, and then found a way to crawl underneath the wine bottle — Jennifer was about an inch and a half all spread out, with lots of thin legs, a stout body, and a little bit of fur — and lie down in that indentation at the bottle’s bottom. And this was, like, a flat surface, not some wire rack. She honestly found a way to slip between a solid shelf and a glass bottle. I don’t know how she did it, but she was amazing and truth is stranger than fiction. Anyway, minutes turned into hours, hours into maybe a day, and … Jennifer passed away.

The blogger found her the next evening when she went to pour herself a glass of wine. She screamed for almost a minute, then took a paper towel, picked Jennifer up, and squished her. Even though she was already dead. She squished my friend just so she could hear her body crumple. And I would have thought she’d be too upset to drink, based on the things Jennifer had told me about her, but she was not.

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