Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bold Jumping Spiders and Bold Jumping Mothers

A couple days ago, Adelaide and I were the only ones home, and we spotted one of those small, thick-limbed black spiders creeping along the kitchen ceiling.

Ooooh.  I just did a little google search on the above vague spider description, and have spent the last 30 seconds looking at spider photos to try and identify it.  My guess is the Bold Jumping Spider (I did not make that name up, but I am thankful for my pre-squish ignorance, as there would have been significantly more squealing otherwise), but couldn't make it past the first search page as I felt too nauseated.

Even without knowing it was a BOLD JUMPING SPIDER (shuuuuudder), there was a little squealing because it was Adelaide and it was me and the smashed spider corpse descended threateningly on its thread after I had snuffed out its life force.

I managed to clean it up and throw it away with little fanfare and without doing that thing that where you pretend the dead bug or spider is still alive and advance quickly toward the cringing person next to you the way Derek always does, because I am not a monster.

Yesterday, however, there was another slightly larger spider of the same kind (you know, just a little spider whose very name says that it is BOLD and WILL JUMP ON YOU), this time on the living room ceiling.  Same thing, except it was just me and Caedmon in the house: Shoe, squeal, squish, shudder.

Right before I squished its filthy guts out, however, I whispered, "Sorry about your wife," because that it what I say before I commit arachnid homicide.  In my mind, I had killed Mrs. Bold Jumping Spider the day before, and now Mr. Bold Jumping Spider is just walking around, wondering where the heck Tina is, when along comes yours truly to make it a double homicide.

Objects may be closer than they appear *retch*

Then I looked up and saw Caedmon watching me, eyebrows up, smiling bemusedly as I whisper to the spider on the ceiling, which of course he was, because #1: Privacy is apparently against my kids' religion, and #2: If I am doing something even the tiniest bit strange, my kids will find a way to be there, because they like nothing better than to announce the things I do in the comfort of our home to the world at large- see #1.  I can only assume this penchant for mortifying me is a trait inherited from my mother; obviously a gene that skips a generation (because surely I never embarrassed my mother or my children, ahahaha!).  I began to glimpse shiny little glimmers of this realization when Adelaide was almost two years old and an inconveniently early talker, which was cute right up until we were in a public bathroom stall and she announced, "WHY IS THAT LADY MAKING THOSE SOUNDS?" and "I CAN SEE SOMEONE'S TOES!  LOOK, MOMMY, TOES!  REALLY DIRTY TOES!" and "GOODNESS GRACIOUS SAKES ALIVE, WHAT IS THAT SMELL?"  'Goodness gracious sakes alive' being her cry of choice at that age.

While she was making all these lovely proclamations at the top of her little voice, I was thinking that I surely hadn't been this embarrassed since my mom gave a very matter-of-fact and loooong talk about sex and its many colorful facets to me and 200 of my closest friends in seventh grade.  At school.  With no warning- probably because she worried I'd make like a squirrel and dart into oncoming traffic rather than sit there and listen to my mom unfurl her fancy school nurse visual aides because she is an over-achiever, which is great in 4-H, not great when you're praying to go deaf so you don't have to hear your mother say that word again in front of half the school.

What's that?  I've talked about this before?  Not to worry, I'll only be bringing it up for the rest of my natural life, because some things you just don't get over.

You know what I haven't mentioned before?  My mom dressing up as SNL character Mary Katherine Gallagher and once again humiliating me in front of a few hundred of my fellow high school students.  I had repressed that little gem right up until supper last night when Adelaide stage-whispered, "Superstar!" and my body went into an automatic fight-or-flight mode.

She did it with exactly this much panache, too.

My mother is not shy.  Unfortunately neither are two out of our three children, and even the quiet one is not to be trusted.  I suppose this means I need to refine my ability to embarrass others, just out of a sense of desperate self-preservation.  Good luck, children mine, and may the odds be ever in your favor.


  1. Have I mentioned that I adore your mother? Did you ever get to hear her blood-borne pathogens routine? No, I haven't, either, but it's legendary. Please link to any other stories of her seventh-grade sex talk.

    1. I have half of her beginning monologue memorized from Blood-Borne Pathogens, at least her 90's-era routine. I had to sit in on it so many times I could probably ace the quiz in my sleep. I feel like my sisters and I should have a lifetime qualification on our resumes for CPR, B-BP, and various Infection Control and PathoPhys seminars/stand-up comedy routines as performed by our mother.

  2. Hee, hee. I needed to read your blog and giggle today! (Interestingly, Destry is doing school in the room next to me and asked "are you reading that blog again?")

    So glad you're not a monster, have never considered arachnid marriage, and I think I want to meet your mom.

  3. Hmm. Those are pretty filthy guts.

    These people in these health professions, with their non-squeamishness and their inability to determine the appropriate venue for a topic of conversations! My sympathies. There were times when I went to parties with my husband's colleagues, and the topic of conversation was [insert scientific words for my euphemism of 'rat matrimonial activities', which I am using in case there are any younger readers]. But at least I didn't have to grow up with that. Oy!

  4. Spiders should be a concern, but not always feared. Though it would be best if they stayed outside in the garden, where they can help eliminate pests and bugs that might damage the plants. Though not always a threat, it would still seem foreboding to see one inside the house. Anyway, thanks for sharing your story with us. Take care!

    Alta Peng @ Liberty Pest Inc.


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