Wolf Spiders and Divorce

Now I bet you’re wondering, what does a spider have to do with divorce? Well, I’m about to explain…
My family and I recently rented a new house, and discovered that we shared it with an excess of spiders and various creepy-crawlies. I believe this to be the result of three factors: the house is very close to a dense wooded area and a natural preserve, it had stood vacant for months, and the added-on family room was built without a foundation beneath it. Basically, the family room was built at ground level.
It became a daily occurrence to have a standoff with one of the eight-legged creatures sharing our home. Let me make this clear: I am terrified of spiders. I realize they do good things for us, such as kill unwanted insects, but I prefer that they do that OUTSIDE and not inside my house. We even had a few Black Widow spiders, which freaked me out because of my children. However, most of the spiders we came across were small and looked harmless enough.

I said, most not “ALL.”
For those of you who are not aware of the Wolf Spider, think Tarantula but not quite as hairy, but just as large. (The wolf spider is a common spider to California regions. Brownish in color and growing up to 4 inches across, wolf spiders closely resemble Tarantulas in appearance and are often mistaken for them.)

I had the misfortune of finding one of these creatures in my house while I was watching a scary movie at the time: “Thirty Days of Night” and it was about midnight when I had my first encounter with one of these uber-creepy, huge spiders.
I was startled by my black cat meowing and batting at something in front of the couch where I was sitting. The room was dark (because that’s the best way to watch a scary movie) and when I glanced down, I screamed. Then I sprang up on the couch and freaked out for about thirty seconds. It was big. The biggest spider I’ve ever seen up close. The Wolf Spider, roughly “the size of Texas” walked leisurely across the floor in front of me. The cat kept swatting at it with her paw while I paced back and forth on couch and tried to figure out what the hell to do.
At this point, I’m thinking to myself, “That’s it. We have to move. NOW.” 
After a few minutes, it soon became clear that I had to do something about the spider. Subsequently, I knew that I had no intention of going anywhere near it.
I thought to myself, “I can call my dad to come over and kill it.” It took me only seconds to realize that I couldn't. 

As some of you know, the past few years have been difficult and hard. I won’t go into all my personal woes, but I will say that my parents decided to get divorced after forty-four years of marriage. Divorce for a child at any age is shocking and sad. Nothing tested me more in my adult life than my own divorce and I can say that now without feeling embarrassed or weak. Divorce is like going through a death, they say, and I believe it. You mourn, you get angry, you feel heartbroken, and disillusioned about life. And when my parents announced they were separating, it felt as if the world had collapsed on me again.
The realization that my family would never be the same was heartbreaking. When my parents made it past their 44th wedding anniversary, and decided to move into a fancy retirement community where they had a new house built, I assumed they were thinking about retiring together, not splitting up.
The sense of loss was overwhelming. I was surprised by how upset I was,  because at my age you would assume I'd be able to handle it and understand. Even though I know that the divorce was the right thing for my parents, it still felt as though it wasn’t just them who were separating, but “us” as a family. All the togetherness and holiday family events that I've taken for granted have disappeared. Now my small family would become even smaller.
Anyhoo, since calling my dad wasn't an option, I decided to wake up my mom, who was staying with us for two reasons:
1) no one would believe me about the size of this eight-legged monster. I needed a witness!
2) She might have an idea on how to destroy it and the actual courage to do it.
At this point, I had no choice. I was going to have to face one of my worst fears. So, I leaped over the back of the sofa and raced to her room. She was groggy, but at the mention of a giant spider in the family room, she got up.

We faced it together. It was huge. It was creepy. And the spider was staring at me in a sardonic fashion, basically saying, “I’m menacing and enormous, and you’re just a big ole scaredy cat.” I wasn't about to argue, it was true. 
My pulse quickened. I began to sweat. I started thinking that maybe we should move.
My mom and I stood near the spider, watching it in fascinated horror, while we plotted what to do. I had the stupid idea of trying to kill it with some Wasp and Black Widow spray. This, of course, had no effect on the sucker. And believe me, I sprayed the heck out of it. Since I was freaking out so badly, I ended up using half the can on the monster spider. It just kept slowly moving forward, but now it was this weird blackish color, making it appear even more scary-looking.
My mom picked up a shoe. She approached the spider like a prisoner facing a firing squad. When my mom was within a couple of feet of the thing I screamed, “It might jump.”

Adrenaline pumping, we both jumped back. My heart was hammering in my chest. I thought I was going to have a panic attack or pee in my PJ’s. But I was sure the spider could do much worse things than that to me.
After our hasty retreat, we regained our composure, and took a deep breath. My brave mother armed with an old shoe made her way back over to the spider.

My hand flew up against my thudding heart. I let out a loud gasp as she hit it, not once, but proceeded to pound the hell of it.
Then with shaky hands, I turned on the hand-vacuum and cleaned up what was left of the menacing creature. 
I haven't seen one since, but so far we’ve had a bat (kinda cute and another funny story), salamander, lizard, yellow slugs, black widow spiders, and a centipede creeping through the family room. These creatures tend to entertain my cat, but totally freak me out.
Luckily, we've had no further close encounters of the giant spider kind.
Did I mention how much I hate spiders? Ewww.

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  1. Dude. EFF THAT!!!!! We'd move... mom or not! Omg! I'd be to scared to SLEEP!!!

  2. I have never seen a wolf spider except for pictures but they scare the hell out of me. If one showed up in my living room, I would be moving out because I am that much of a wimp.

  3. ew! Ew! EW! I wish I hadnt seen your pics! I wont be able to go into our basement know.

    I'm glad I am not the only one terrified of the 8legged freaks!

    I too blogged about it a yr or so ago. lol http://starvnrtist.blogspot.com/2011/01/fear.html

  4. Even thinking back on it now, I'm filled with childish terror. And I haven't mentioned all the animals we’ve had in our backyard. hehe I’ll save that for another post.


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