Monday, July 27, 2009

Fears, Young and Old

When I was young, I was afraid of the dark and of spiders. I would lie in bed and lay very still so as not to alert the monsters to my presence. Heaven forbid going to the bathroom because one step onto the floor around my bed, and a cold, bony hand would reach out and grab my ankle giving me a fatal heart attack.

Once when I was not-so-old, I dried off my face, looked at myself in the mirror, and there was a large spider sitting on my cheek. The scream apparently nearly gave my mother a fatal heart attack because she screamed herself crazy at me for screaming. I examined every towel before drying anything.

I'm not really afraid of either the dark or spiders now. I think it's because as the elder sister of four brothers, I decided early not to be fearful so as not to be thought of as "girly". When Brad went through his lizard/snake phase, I didn't bat an eye and learned early that they are hardly scary.

I took my disregard of fear of spiders to a new level as an adult while teaching at Brighton High School Seminary. My colleagues and I were cleaning out a storage room, when one of them recoiled rather dramatically at a little wolf spider. I chose to show my disgust at his fears by taking the little spider into my hands and carrying it outside for a thoughtful release. All the while I was carrying him, though, I could feel his little bites -- like little pin pricks. I remained stoic throughout and took him safely outside. I now demonstrate my bravery to my granddaughters by killing spiders with my bare fingers. Sometimes if they're largish, I do use toilet tissue as a buffer.

Even teenagers don't scare me, that's how brave I am. So what do I fear? Like I said the other day, alarm clocks.


Wendy said...

What about teenagers with 8 legs??

Melissa said...

Ok, that wolf spider story in your hands just gave me the creeps!! You could have just shown how brave you were by killing it!! lol!!