This morning, after finishing the first, I moved onto the second (a bit earlier than usual, as they were shutting off the water to our house early this morning to work on the water main), and so I was without my glasses or contacts.
Being mostly blind without these lenses, I am used to finding my way through things like showering: it's not a big deal. But this morning, upon stepping into the shower, I happened to glance down, and I saw a giant, fuzzy, black dot moving about on the floor of my shower.
I have no active arachnophobia, but I know the way a spider moves, and this one, in my state of non-corrected vision, appeared to be at least the size of a silver dollar. And my vision, I know, is not good enough to see the legs of most spiders from 2 meters away.
(Also, if you have a fear of spiders, don't do a Google Image Search for "arachnophobia." Just trust me on that.)
I had just gotten into the shower, and (being on a schedule now that the water was due to be shut off) I couldn't stop the shower, take care of the spider-thing (I began to imagine what else might be that size, move in that way, and not be a spider moments after seeing it). So, I thought for a moment, decided that whatever it was, it was probably a spider, and it probably wasn't poisonous (I know my black widows and brown recluses, and neither get that big. . . or so I hoped). But I couldn't quite get over how large it was. It didn't help that I couldn't see it.
So I spent my time imagining how long the spider had been watching me over the past year or so of its life, hiding in a dark corner of my bathroom. I wondered if there were others (it's said that any time you kill a spider, 7 other spiders see you do it; the implication is that they immediately begin plotting vengeance). I had a momentary, terrible thought that this spider is probably a female, and she probably laid eggs somewhere, and I had a vision of the egg sac bursting out on me while I was in the shower (probably in spring, but why imagine a far-off danger when you can imagine one temporally closer to home?) and thousands of spiders cheerfully trying to figure out what part of me tasted best.
And of course, there was the notion that this really big spider wasn't a spider at all, but something else. I mostly tried to put that out of my mind, but it didn't stop me from being a bit uncomfortable about the drain below my feet, wondering what else might lurk there.
After my shower, I had to cross the threshold of the shower and get out. This was complicated by the fact that the fuzzy-black-dot-that-moved-like-a-spider-b
Yeah, that's me. Worried about freaking out the thing that probably wants to eat me and drag my soul to its cob-webby nest.
But I didn't want to kill it. I knew where it was now, but if it was a spider, it was beneficial. If it wasn't, well, we have a lovely entymology lab here on campus who could tell me just how dangerous the (likely innocent) creature was. So I decided to go get a jar.
Now, putting a spider in a jar is hard work. There's always worry that the thing is going to somehow leap from wherever it was and get stuck in your hair, where it will freak out because, hello, IT'S IN YOUR HAIR. . . and that's enough to freak out anyone.
I grabbed my glasses and took a good look. . . and with a sigh of relief, I saw it was, indeed, a spider. The biggest damn wolf spider I had ever seen. It actually was about the size I first thought it was. Holy hell.
So, now I had to find a jar big enough to move it outside. I still wasn't going to kill it: she was probably scared, too, and she's probably killed more insects (and, from her size, perhaps a few mice) in the house that I never knew about. I have a great deal of respect for creatures that kill other creatures so I don't have to. It's like we're on the same wavelength there.
At some point, while searching through the house, I realized that it would be very helpful if they created "spider-catching jars" that were square instead of round so that you could fit them into corners. In wondering why no one had ever thought of that, I realized (a bit sheepishly) that it is probably because it would be very difficult to screw the top onto a square jar.
Anyway, I found a jar and managed to (gently) back her into it, sealed it up, and took it upstairs where I set it on the stove until I could get dressed and put my shoes on. I warned my wife that there was a big wolf spider on the stove so that she wouldn't freak out if she wandered in before I'd done that (thankfully, she didn't), and then I took her outside once my shoes were on. I apologized for the temperature (it was chilly this morning), but she gracefully slipped out of the jar and didn't find a way to bounce into my hair, which I mentioned to her I was grateful for.
All told, she probably thought I was crazy.