My Neighbors Called The Police
So I have a confession to make.
Bugs, they make me scream.
It’s totally ridiculous and actually pretty funny, but I can’t help it — they make me scream. It’s not even so much that I’m scared of the bug itself, but more in the way that the bug most likely snuck up on me.
I love scary things. Haunted houses, scary movies, and roller coasters are all right up my ally, but that’s in part because I know that I’m about to be scared; I expect and prepare for it. Scared I don’t mind, but startled I don’t pull off too well because when I get startled I scream.
Just ask Mr. Attorney Man.
A couple weeks ago I was on the phone with him while I was leaving my house to get The Girl Child from school. I opened the front door to leave and ran face first into a cable salesman that was about to ring my doorbell.
The cable guy about died laughing, told me that he was just getting me ready for Halloween, and then he went about his merry way. But the point is that I do not like things that sneak up and startle me, which is exactly why I don’t like bugs, which is another fact that Mr. Attorney Man can attest to.
A few weeks ago he and I both attended an event for the nonprofit and afterwards, in an unrelated issue, he had a few things for me to sign. Unfortunately the place we were at needed us to leave because they were closing, so we ended up standing in the parking lot signing documents under a streetlight.
A streetlight that was attracting a lot of bugs.
And you guys, I knew it was coming, oh yes I did, and I tried to hold myself together and mentally prepare because
way deep down I am a professional woman, but nope!
A tiny moth landed on the page that I was signing and I let out a shriek as if I had literally just been stabbed. Not only that, but I flung around so fast I nearly knocked Mr. Attorney Man over.
Was I scared of the moth? Hell no, it’s a moth, what’s it going to do, flutter my face? But what I was afraid of was that it was going to move again, scare me, and make me scream.
In a matter of minutes I went from a panelist at a domestic violence event to a crazed woman running around the parking lot shrieking every time a gnat flew by.
It was not pretty.
So bugs and their covert op sneak attacks?
I’m not a fan.
Which is exactly why my neighbors came rushing outside the other day to see if I was OK.
It was about 6pm, and The Girl Child had just finished playing with Henry Hamster. Henry had been playing on a blanket and chewing up a box, and I wanted to shake the blanket and its pile of cardboard shavings outside, so I opened the door to my balcony, stepped outside, and inadvertently walked face first into a spiderweb that was blanketing the area right in front of my face.
Then, out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of an absolutely ridiculously sized spider with black and red stripped legs, and I screamed again, this time even louder.
When I tried to step backwards out of the web and realized that it was now clinging to my face, complete with spider, I lost my f*cking mind.
LOST. MY. MIND.
I mean what does one do when they realize that their face is attached to something that looks like it belongs in the zoo, or at minimum in a jungle of a country that I’ve never heard of?
I started screaming and thrashing and was 1.5 milliseconds away from hurling myself off the balcony when I finally managed to escape the web and it’s adjoining demon-like creature.
I stepped back, assessed the situation, and decided that even though I do not like spiders, I needed to kill this spider. Because do you know what’s worse than killing the spider on your house?
Not killing the spider on your house that eventually makes its way into your house.
So I ran to the garage to get the bug spray, and then ran back to the spider before it had a chance to hide where I couldn’t find it — in which case obviously the kids and I would have to move out of the house.
I sprayed the spider, the spider starting jumping around the web, and I screamed.
When I screamed, I scared the kids and they both screamed.
That big ass spider, I’ll give it credit, at first it was like “it’s cool, I’m OK, Tis a mere flesh wound!” and it decided not to die.
I sprayed it again, it again appeared to do some kind of club dance, I screamed some more, and naturally the kids screamed too.
I sprayed the spider a third time, and this time it realized that I meant business and it
fell leapt to the ground and started running.
I’m not sure that anyone can fault me for this because it was a scary sight and I really was starting to feel as though my life might be in danger from some kind of spider that was clearly from
the depths of hell the Amazon and possibly poisonous, so don’t judge me when I confess that I may or may not have continued started to scream uncontrollably.
The kids did the same.
Now the three of us are outside screaming.
In my defense I did eventually manage to kill the spider, but to my embarrassment the neighbors called the police, because you know, clearly we were all dying.
But please, take a look at this spider and then try and tell me that he did not escape from hell and somehow manage to climb up the side of my house.
On a brighter note, I am pleased to announce that I did not scream at all when I drove, by myself, on the highway, with the kids.
I DID IT!!!
I reached my goal!!
I have to say, I’m feeling just a tad bit proud of myself (OK I’m lying I’m way stoked). If you remember from the post “There Was Definitely Screaming” I had just, for the first time (in a mortifying display of the failures of my adulthood), driven on the highway in an attempt to get over some past traumas. I was with my Platonic Hubby, and there was some screaming involved.
OK, there was lots of screaming.
My goal was to not just to learn how to drive on the highway, but to become comfortable enough to drive on it with the kids in the car. It wasn’t an easy process for me but I wasn’t about to give up, no matter how long it took and how tiny my steps of progress were. I went from driving with my Platonic Hubby, to following her in her car, and then I was accidentally shoved into the next step when I was following another friend home on the highway one day and a car got in between us. While I was trying see around the car to her car, she started to get off at an exit, and I didn’t see her until it was too late for me to get off as well.
I managed to drive to the next exit myself without dying and I have to say, I was pretty darn proud of myself! (There may have also been some screaming during that trip, but if there were no witnesses I don’t have to confirm anything).
A week later I needed to drive somewhere in an area that I know well. I was still on a bit of a high from my first time driving alone on the highway, so with my confidence built up I decided to try it again. It helped knowing that if I panicked and needed to get off before I reached my destination, that I would still know where I was.
Forty-five minutes later I got there in one piece, and you guys, it felt pretty awesome!
Several weeks later I was going somewhere with the kids about an hour away. We were running late and when I plugged the address into the GP,S and watched my travel time go up by 30 minutes once I checked the box that said “avoid the highway,” I decided that I had no more excuses. It was one o’clock on a Saturday afternoon, traffic would be light, and if I were ever going to do this, this would be the perfect time to try it.
So the kids and I hopped on the expressway, and even though there may have been a few shrieks that I drowned out with music, we all made it there safely.
I didn’t have enough nerves left in me to use the highway for the trip home, but I made it a point to take the kids on the highway again a few days later. Although I knew we had been safe on our last trip, the sheer anxiety of it had rattled me enough that I knew if I didn’t “get back on the horse” so to speak, that I might not… ever.
As I said when I started this highway-conquering journey, I’m tired of letting fear hold me back. So while I’m not proud that I startle easily and some things seem to scare me more than they scare other people, I’m proud that I don’t let the fear control me.
In life we all have things that scare us; career changes, relationship commitments, school projects, phobias, and past traumas, just to name a few. Fear can make us feel weak, out of control, and ashamed that we aren’t “stronger” than the people or situations around us, but it’s important to remember that fear does not define who you are.
I realize that the things that scare me seem ridiculous to other people, but that is irrelevant. Everyone is afraid of something, but as I said, it’s not the fear that defines us, it’s what we do with those fears.
Anyone can be scared, but only a few can conquer it.
Fear is scary, no doubt, but pushing through the fear is empowering.
The next time something scares you, don’t find refuge in its shadows, but rather find courage in the fight to step out from behind them. Who cares if you scream a little (or a lot)?
Even warriors have their battle cry.
We all encounter things in life that feel scary or unsettling, but it’s only when we let those fears control us do we really lose the battle. The war is not won by never encountering a fight, but rather by the courage we display in conquering it.
So yea, I screamed, but I still killed that damn spider.
And the highway?
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