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There is no denying it. It’s spring in Houston, Texas. Yup, Certain things happen at this time of year. The most noticeable sign is that I, the little woman, the wife, with my chin tucked to my chest, my eyes held downward, automatically start walking six steps behind my much respected and adored husband.
Oh, I’m not being subservient; there really isn’t a submissive bone in my body. Don’t get me wrong, I respect my husband, and love him, but my six-steps-behind spring march isn’t due to any of that. It stems from pure shameless self-preservation.
You see, I live in the very wooded area of Houston. And this time of year brings out an onslaught of critters—some nice, and some not so nice. The arrival of the clay-colored Robins is a sure sign that old man winter has given up the good fight and gone into hiding. Last weekend, I sat at my desk and watched a possum and her two babies march across my backyard patio. Included in this onslaught of critters are the mosquitoes, aka the hungry little bastards. Oh, then there are the snakes, who never fail to sneak into the house and get the cats all riled up. But honestly, this blog isn’t about Robins, possums, mosquitoes, or snakes.
It’s about one of biggest fears. And I’m not talking about the fear that George Clooney will show up on a bad hair day, when the girl’s aren’t supported and I’m still wearing my soon-to-retire “Hot Stuff” nightshirt. Nope, I’m talking about the creepy, crawly eight-legged beasts. I’m talking my all-time feared enemy: the spider.
And because we live in a wooded area, with lots of trees, and lots of bushes, these Texas-size arachnids just love to build their webs, stretched across the walking paths of my front yard. So, whenever we arrive home, I wait until hubby starts through the paths, his much respected and loved six-foot-two frame clearing away any spider . . . or web. Nevertheless, these eight-legged spring-time beasts aren’t limited to just the paths in my front yard.
It happened four nights ago. It was late, and I was checking email in my office one more time before I hit the sack. When I went to leave the room, I saw it. It was huge, freaking huge. It was ugly. The thing had hair growing on his butt! And it had built itself a honking hotel-size web right outside my French doors. Obviously, the light in my study attracted enough insects that the blood-sucking twerp thought it was the perfect place to call home.
With chills running down my spine I hotfooted it upstairs. In a screechy voice I told hubby, “You gotta job to do! There’s a spider, the size of a baseball (Yes, I exaggerated a bit, it was only the size of a golf ball on steroids) taking up residence right outside my French doors. You gotta evict the sucker.”
He promised me that he would take care of the situation first thing in the morning. Having faith in my man, and believing him when he promised the spider wouldn’t find its way in the house, up the stairs, and down the hall to crawl in bed with me, I agreed to let the eviction notice wait till morning.
Now, let’s fast forward to the morning. “It’s not here,” hubby said when I had dragged his butt downstairs to do his job. “You must have imagined it.”
“Please,” I told him. “I’m a romance writer and I have much more important things to use my imagination on than a freaking hairy-assed spider.”
“Well, maybe he heard you scream about eviction notices and packed up his web and left.”
I couldn’t deny that the spider was gone. But the next night when I went to cut off my computer, I saw it again. Same place, same ugly spider. Hair still growing on its butt. Running for help, I got the same song and dance from hubby. “Tomorrow. I’ll do it tomorrow. I’m in bed. Let the guy live another night.”
Much to my dismay, the next morning was a repeat of the morning before. I knew I wasn’t crazy, but the fact remained the spider wasn’t there. Obviously, the thing was nocturnal and he took his web with him when he left. Hubby didn’t seem to buy it.
Now, let’s fast forward to the next night. Oh, yes, this is where it gets fun. Hubby was taking out the garbage, via my office door, and I was putting away some groceries. Do you see where I’m going with this?
Now according to hubby, he swung the door open and was mid-step, too late to stop, when he saw the thing.
I heard a knock coming from the office and I thought hubby was playing with the cats. But then I heard him yell for me. Of course, I went to the rescue. He stood right inside my office, running his hands through his hair, and the look on his face--panic. Now let me stop here and explain. Hubby isn’t normally afraid of spiders, but remember this thing was huge, ugly, and had hair on its butt!
Hubby looked at me and said, “Do you see it?” At that point, I didn’t have a clue what he meant.
“See what?” And then I did see it. Not the hairy-butted spider, but the spider web hanging from his ear. I looked outside and spotted the garbage strewn all over the back patio, then I looked back at my much panicked hubby. “You believe me now, don’t you?”
He barely nodded, because he was way too busy dusting off his jacket with one hand, while trying to get the web off his ear with the other, all the while shaking his head like wet dog. “Do you see it?” he asked turning in circles.
Being the wife I am, loving the man like I do, I only backed up five or six feet.
“Crap,” he said. “That thing was huge.” Now he thinks it’s huge, huh? “Do you see it,” he turned around again. “Crap, where would it go?” He stepped closer to me, still shaking his head as if to dislodge the spider from his hair. I of course took a step back. “What’s a spider’s instinct? What will he do?” he asked.
“Bite,” I said. Hey, he asked and I was only being honest.
My words led to him yanking off his jacket and slinging it to the floor. Then he started dusting himself off and shaking his head again. When he did his next turn, I saw it.
“There! On your leg.” Of course, I took a few steps back. Don’t judge me until you see one of these things.
Hubby grabbed the bag I held in my hand and knocked the freaking huge thing to the floor and stepped on its hairy butt. Then he looked up at me and said, “See, nothing to it.”
I crossed my arms over my chest and stared. I knew he was trying to collect his machismo by acting cool. I decided not to remind that he was almost acting as bad as me, but neither was I gonna stay completely silent. “Maybe next time you’ll believe me.”
He grins, and in his sarcastic voice said, “Probably not.”
I stood there for a few seconds. Then I smiled.
“What?” he asked.
“Nothing,” I turned to leave, but he must have seen it in my eyes.
“Oh, crap,” I heard him say. “You’re gonna blog about this, aren’t you?”
Now where would this man get an idea like that? So there you have it. Spring time lessons from the Craig Household. How is your spring going? Are you feeling spring fever? Have you ever seen a hairy-butted spider?
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Posted by Christie Craig at 5:06 AM