No Thanks, No Squish For Me

Addlepated writes about her mortal fear of Palmetto bugs, aka roaches. She expounds on how her reflexes simply take over when she sees one, and that she can’t stand the squishy noise they make when her husband stomps on one. I know what she means. Ever since my childhood I have plugged my ears whenever something creepy-crawly or armored with a shell (ant, roach) encounters the bottom of a foot or rolled-up paper.

Spiders were my nemesis in younger years. The sight of one could send me shrieking, and I had nightmares about them. Yes, I understood I was bigger than it, and that it was afraid of me more. But they were so… creepy. Too many legs! Especially when there were many congregating. Fangs. Ick. I feared being bitten. I awoke one summer night to find a spider had crawled across my face and I spastically flapped my hands, stripped my bed, cried, and did not sleep the rest of the night. I was probably eleven. I did not sleep in my bed for days after that!

In later adulthood as I lived alone I made peace, to a degree, with them. I didn’t mind them if they stayed out of sight. However, anytime one of them ends up near me, I reflexively jump and shiver. Two nights ago I sat at my desk as I am now, and out of the corner of my eye I saw movement. I looked down to see a fairly sizable spider rapidly crawling toward me. An involuntary eep! and a yelp issued from me, and my husband called from upstairs, “Are you all right?” I replied that it was just a spider as I knocked it to the floor. Used to be I would kill them. Now if possible I try to usher them outside somehow. I took a sheet of paper and scooped this one on the edge, opened the back door, and flung it into the rainy night. Then I shivered. It’s completely unconditioned.

I also don’t mind spiders near me or crawling on me if they are tiny. By this I mean speck-like. Any spider with a leg expanse wider than a U.S. dime does not get a friendly response from me. Even those are received tepidly. The more minute the arachnid, the better. Oh, and jumping spiders I really can’t warm up to. Too unpredictable. They might jump on me.

Yet they fascinate me too, from a distance. Spiders are useful, humble, and generally reclusive. Even tarantulas, of which I saw my first last August at my sister’s home in Tucson. He was 12 feet away, and that was close enough, thank you. Anyhow, there is less shrieking and squishing going on in my home than did in days of yore. It’s a kinder, gentler household.

So now I have a question. What bug bugs you?

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One Comment on “No Thanks, No Squish For Me”

  1. kat Says:

    yeah, i’m not a big fan of bugs. big spiders spook me as do roaches (ew) and millipedes. and i will smoosh them if they get too close to my personal space. i won’t scream, but i do shiver.

    once a spider came down on a string of spider web about an inch from my face while i was driving. i nearly drove off the road. lol.