Dealing with Spiders When You're Single - Screaming Doesn't Help

By Conny Manero | connymanero | 29 Apr 2020

This morning a friend sent me a link to a story about spiders. I was more than a little hesitant to open the link. If there was an accompanying picture, I would get the fright of my life. When choosing a picture the image is rather small, but once published the picture is huge. So, if I opened the link was I about to be confronted with a huge spider? Fortunately, that was not the case, the picture merely showed a big web.

All my life I’ve been afraid of spiders. When I was a child, every night when I went to sleep, I scanned the walls and ceiling of my bedroom to see if a spider decided to visit (for some reason spiders always chose to visit my room, they never went to my brother or parents’ room). On the occasion that there was such a visitor, I yelled DAD!!!!!!! Knowing what this yell meant, dad came upstairs, suitably accompanied by a shoe and made short work of the beast.

After I got married it was my husband’s task to get rid of any unwanted bugs. He wasn’t particularly keen on killing spiders but what could he do, there was nobody else around, so he had to deal with the monster. I watched from a safe distance, giving instructions by way of … ‘See that you have it. If you miss and you can’t find it anymore we’ll have to move.’ After the deed was done, I insisted on seeing the body to have peace of mind.

After I got divorced, I had a problem … who was going to deal with killing spiders? Living in Africa at the time, this was a big problem. For the longest time they stayed well out of my way, but one day it happened, I saw one, a big one, on the drapes of my teenage son’s bedroom. 
 ‘DIETER!!!’ I yelled. 
 Thinking that I had some kind of accident Dieter came running and skidded to a halt when he saw me standing on his bed. 
 ‘What?’ he asked.
 ‘There,’ I pointed.
 When he saw what I was pointing at he joined me on the bed.

Together we stood there, shivering, wondering what to do. We couldn’t take a shoe to the spider, because it being on the drapes that wouldn’t work. 
 ‘The vacuum cleaner’ I said to Dieter. ‘Let’s suck it up.’ 
 While he went to get the vacuum cleaner, I remained on the bed keeping an eye on the spider. When he got back we looked at each other. Who was gonna do the sucking up? 
‘You do it’ he said, 
‘No, you do it,’ I countered, 
‘No, you do it,’ he countered back. 
I was about to suggest a challenge of ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors,’ when I thought … okay, I’m the grown-up here, I’ll do it.

Dieter was about to switch on the vacuum cleaner when I said ‘Wait! You might frighten the spider and it might run away. Wait until I’m in position and when I say GO you switch on the machine.’

Okay so I had a plan, now all I needed was to muster up the courage to go through with it. Vacuum stick in both hands, I stood there, like a knight wielding his sword. I took several deep breaths and even more berating in the sense of ‘Don’t be a big baby, just do it’ before I pointed the stick at the spider and said ‘GO!’ Dieter switched the machine on and zap the spider was sucked up.

Now the aftershock hit me. I screamed, dropped the stick, and jumped off the bed, shivering like an idiot. Next, I grabbed the vacuum cleaner, ran with it through the house, opened the front door, and threw the machine in the front yard. I imagined that if I left the vacuum cleaner inside, the spider might somehow find a way to crawl out. So out the machine went.

When I told my friend about this experience she said ‘You do realize that you sent this spider to spider heaven. A vacuum cleaner bag is a dark, dusty place and spiders love dark dusty places. Why didn’t you just use bug spray on the spider, that would have been the end of it.’ Okay, that was a good idea, I would get a can of bug spray.

About two months later I saw another spider, another big one. This time the black monster was sitting on the white kitchen floor. Being alone at home, I had to deal with the monster myself. Growing hot and cold I looked at it from a distance and I imagine he/she looked at me with any of its eight eyes. What was I going to do? I couldn’t leave it there, I had to do something. That’s when I remembered the bug spray.

In stealth mode, I crept to one of the kitchen cabinets, opened the door, took out the spray can and closed the door. Then ever so carefully I approached the spider and sprayed it with all my might. I put so much spray on the spider I nearly gassed myself.

But I had results, the spider was dead. It lay curled up in a big, black ball. I was ever so proud of myself. ‘Ha,’ I thought, ‘got ya.’ Next, I went to get a dustpan and a broom to sweet the spider up to throw it out. When I got back to the kitchen I couldn’t believe my eyes … the spider was gone. It must have run out the back door.

Where it comes to spiders, we are sworn enemies, but where it comes to stories … I’ve got quite a few of them.

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Conny Manero
Conny Manero

I am the author of three novels and two children's books. I write for various online and print publications.


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