Sunday, May 13, 2007

Lesson of the day slash exposure therapy

A preamble:
I hate spiders. A lot.
It is very possible I may have full-blown arachniphobia, as my fear is not logical. I can have my face a few inches away, marvelling at an insect... and the second I see that extra pair of legs, my heart starts pounding.
The other problem is that, being in the field I'm in, I know exactly what the treatment for this phobia entails... either imagining contact with spiders or actual contact with spiders.
No dice.
So I keep my can of toxic poison handy, remain generally vigilent, and try to do some minor exposure therapy on my own... that is, dealing with the little ones and daddy long legs myself (sans poison).

Hence comes this post. As I was making dinner this evening, the Duke flipped channels to PBS and a documentary about spiders. I had the weirdest reaction... I became fixated, because the stuff is actually really fascinating, but also hyperaroused in a panicky way. I was nervous AND interested-- my geeky interest in such things was competing with my natural fear reaction.

In the hopes of continuing this progress, I decided to write about the random facts I learned about spiders. And, even post pictures.

And I'm convinced something is crawling up my leg at this very instant.


Lesson #1- The raft spider, which invaded the U.K a few years ago, not only can walk on water... it also catched and eats fish!!!

Lesson #2- The desert spider women are known for snacking on their mates post-coitus.
The crafty male, however, prevents his demise by releasing a pheremone that knocks the she-devil out, at which point he promptly has his way with her.
Even worse? The narrator of the show was way too excited about this spider sexual-assault. In fact, I stole the phrase "have his way with her" from him.


Ant said...

Ah yes, I knew this about the literally man-eating spiders (black widows do it too...) But I seem to recall something about the male having to do a back-flip into the female's over-sized maw, letting his juice loose, then fucking off before she can eat him?

Gotta love those over-excitable narrators though - spending way too much time with their pets and not with humans...

SMARTBuddy said...

Brrrrr. Fish eating spider, thats not right on so many levels.

Touching does work; I watched a TV show once where the presenter (who was terrifed of spiders) had his hand strapped down and a HUGE, spider put in his palm. He had a heart rate monitor on, which went through the roof, but then after a few minutes of blind panic and looking the other way he calmed down. After 10 minutes they unstrapped his hand and he held it on his own, no worries.
I need this, but I dont want it!

iFreud said...

Hey, I know your pain... I make my husband spray the house every spring because I lose my mind around them too. I also have a sick facination with watching them on tv. (Accompanied by a lot of "ewwing" of course.)

Anonymous said...

hehe, I feel your pain. I, too, am fascinated by the leggy critters, yet cringe anytime they're near. We live in a semi-wooded area, so unfortunately we're cursed with the wee buggers.

I've almost crashed my vehicle, not once but twice, due to a spider jumping out at my head when I flipped the sun visor down.

Thankfully, the cats love to play with the ones that get inside (in the process killing them).

Beth said...

For some reason, I can handle spiders. It's the centipedes and millipedes (discovered in sinks and bathtubs) that freak me out.

So many creepy crawly legs!

But I do kill them...

Indiana James said...

Funny, I don't have a problem with spiders. I rationalize it like this, they eat flies and mosquitos so that's good for me. The closest thing I get all squirmy about are crackheads. I guess the exposure to them goes part and parcel with the job, but man, they give me the creeps, especially the women sometimes. : P

Lin-Zed said...

I'll move back to Vancouver from Edmonton in about a year. There are many things I will not miss. One thing I most definitely will miss is the lack of spiders. No spiders in Edmonton. I think I sleep better at night...I have this irrational fear that they might crawl into my ear and lay eggs. Yuck