So awhile back I posted one of those lame “How well do you know me?” Facebook quizzes. One of the questions was:
My biggest fears in order from greatest to least are ____________.
a) spiders, public restrooms, dirty dishes.
b) public restrooms, dirty dishes, spiders.
c) dirty dishes, spiders, public restrooms.
Most people got this question wrong.
This morning as I was folding laundry on the couch, I picked up a towel—a big, white, fluffy, beautiful towel—only to find that a spider—a big, black, creepy, ugly spider—was lurking within its folds. I dropped the towel like it had a spider on it (because it did!) and screamed. But I dropped the towel on the couch. No way was I going to live with the idea that a big, black, creepy, ugly eight-legged beastie was inhabiting the inner recesses of my loveseat, so I picked up a corner of the towel and flung it on the ground away from the couch. I thought maybe it would crawl out of the towel so I (actually, I was hoping I could talk Mr. T into doing the dirty work) could properly attack it with the business end of my husband’s hiking boot, but it didn’t. The towel was silent. Eerily silent. And still. Eerily still.
The towel and spider were now in the middle of my floor, trapping Mr. T in the kitchen and preventing me from carrying out the rest of my morning motherly duties of lunch making and laundry folding and floor sweeping and all that other crap. I bravely walked up to the towel and lifted up one corner.
Me, to Mr. T: Is it there?
Mr. T: I don’t see it.
Me, trying to flip around another corner of the towel: Do you see it?
Mr. T: No.
Me: Did you see it when I flung it onto the floor. It’s in the towel, right? It’s not still on the couch, right?! Please don’t let it still be on the couch!
I thought about just smashing the crap out of that towel in such a way as to ensure that nothing could have survived, but it was one of my good white bath towels. I haven’t had them very long and they were kind of pricey. I went into the kitchen and started digging around in the drawers.
Mr. T: What are you looking for?
Me: The tongs. The good ones.
I couldn’t find the good ones. I could only find the flimsy ones that were a good 1 1/2 inches shorter than the good ones, but I was desperate. I went over to the vicinity of the towel and leaned over as far as my arm would stretch and tried to pick up the towel with the tongs. I couldn’t. They weren’t strong enough to hold 30×56″ of fine loop Egyptian cotton goodness. Darn those flimsy tongs!
Mr. T, searching the kitchen in earnest: Where are those good tongs?!
He couldn’t find them, but worked up the courage to spread the towel out the rest of the way. There was nothing there. There was nothing there! Do you know what’s worse than having a spider on one of your best bath towels? Having a spider on one of your best bath towels and then not having a spider on one of your best bath towels with no earthly idea of what happened to the damn thing in between those two states of being! It could be anywhere!
Mr. T: You probably flung it off the towel when you threw it off the couch.
Me: But where? Where would I have flung it to?
We looked around and then Mr. T spotted it on the dining room wall, a good twelve feet away.
Mr. T: That thing’s huge!
I searched for a weapon. Mr. T brought out the big, rubber mallet from the kitchen.
Me: We can’t use that, we’ll put a hole in the wall.
The spider dropped to the floor, so I knew I had to act fast—any further delay and I’d risk losing him in my house. In my house! I finally settled on some rolled up newspapers, covered my eyes with one hand and brought down my other with the full force of all my fear and fury. I got him.
Me, handing Mr. T a stack of napkins: Could you get rid of him please?
Mr. T: With napkins?!
Me: Well, what do you want to use?
Mr. T: Something stiffer?
We debated for a few minutes until finally I took matters into my own hands—well, not my hands (shudder, shudder, shudder!)—and scooped it up with the cardboard wrapping from the last of the pineapple snack cups. I carried it across the dining room and tossed it out the back slider door, all the while hoping that spiders didn’t play possum and chanting, “Please don’t wake up, please don’t wake up, please don’t wake up.”
Needless to say, it was a most traumatic and distressing way to start my day. It’s like when you narrowly miss getting in a car accident and your heart is palpitating for several minutes following the near death experience.
So here is my rationale behind the biggest fears:
I’d rather do dishes than take care of any kind of business in a public restroom. And I’d certainly much rather take care of all kinds of business in a public restroom than have to deal with a spider.
I’m not sure how long it will be before I can use that towel again, let alone hang it up in my bathroom. Or put it in the linen closet. Or fold it. Or pick it up off the floor.