I told myself earlier this month that I wanted to start making more posts here about what’s been going on in my life, rather than it being all about my books all the time. So here’s a fun post for your amusement.
Gather ’round, my children, while I tell you the story of my absolutely terrifying, epic battle with the spider under my couch.
Okay, so, a thing or two you should know about me: I recently moved and am living on my own for the first time ever. And I am absolutely terrified of spiders. Like, panic attack, full-body shaking, whimpering, tears-in-the-eyes-in-their-presence terrified of spiders. I don’t know why. I’ve just always been scared of spiders (and June bugs, which I recognize isn’t rational at all). It doesn’t matter how big or small they are: if it’s a spider, I want it dead and far, far away from me.
So now that that’s established…
This evening, I came out of my bathroom after doing my usual nightly routine, dropped my clothes off in the hamper in the laundry room, and went looking for my cat, mainly so I could make sure he wasn’t up to no good. I found him hunched up at the end of the couch in the living room, staring intently under the couch.
Now, anybody who owns a cat can tell you this: if you have a piece of furniture and a cat is staring intently underneath it, there is something under that piece of furniture. It could be something as simple as a toy. Or a dust bunny. Or it could be something a lot worse.
So I spotted the cat staring under the couch, and I thought, Oh God, he wouldn’t be doing this if there wasn’t something under there. So I squared up, got my phone out, turned on the flashlight, got down on the floor in front of the couch, and shone my flashlight underneath said couch.
And there it was, plastered to the baseboard at the back of the couch: a large spider, the size of a half-dollar if you included the legs.*
So I pretty much immediately started shaking and whimpering because: spider.
But somehow, despite the sheer ball of terror trying to crawl up my throat, I managed to get off the floor, move the coffee table out of my way (gotta have the maneuverability in case I had to run for my life, ya know?), and went to the laundry room to retrieve my Zevo ant, roach, and spider spray, which I was suddenly incredibly glad I’d invested in when I saw it sitting on the shelf at the store about a month ago. (I remember that day, too, and thinking, Hey, this might come in handy and stowing it in the shopping cart. Yeah, it definitely came in handy for this.)
Then, after getting myself armed and ready, I bravely moved the couch away from the wall.
The spider? Didn’t move. It stayed on the baseboard, awaiting its fate.
The cat? He crammed his fat ass behind the couch to get at the spider before I could spray it.
The spider? NOW IT MOVED.
So, in sheer panic, I yelled at the cat and threw one of my ballet flats at him, and he got out from behind the couch and went underneath my living room armchair to sulk while I started hunting for the rogue fucking spider. Which now I couldn’t find, thanks to the cat.
Which meant I could never use my living room ever again, because that’s what you do when you have a spider that you know is there but can’t locate, right?
So, even though I desperately wanted to go hide somewhere and quietly spazz out, I kept looking for the blasted spider. And I looked. And looked. And looked. And then…I spotted it. Hiding in the little decorative tassels lining the edge of my living room rug.
I inched toward it.
I spritzed it with the Zevo spray.
Then I started doing this weird tiptoeing, high-stepping run thing across my living room to the hallway while going, “GAA-AAA-AAA-AAAH!” all the way, where, once there, I quietly did a grossed-out, freaked-out dance while making strange squeaky, whiny noises and hoping I wouldn’t disturb anyone else in the apartment building who happened to be home.
Then, after about a minute, thinking, Surely, it should be dead by now, right? I mean, how long does this Zevo stuff take to work? I got the guts to slooooowly go peek back over where I’d last seen the spider. I inched up. I shined my flashlight down at the tassels where it was last seen.
The spider? Not dead. Just gone.
I freaked out for a minute.
Then I went looking for some shoes. I don’t know why this was the point where I decided I should be wearing shoes, but this was the point where I decided I really needed to be wearing shoes. So I put the shoes on, rolled my pants legs up to my knees (look, I never said I think rationally when it comes to things like this), and I went looking again.
And then…I found the little fucker, moving a bit slower but largely unaffected by the Zevo. Apparently, I didn’t spray it enough.
So I squared up my shoulders, got as close to it as I dared, and hit it again with the Zevo.
The spider started doing this weird flailing thing and this funky run in the direction of my console table by the front door, moving kinda slow but still moving, which was not the ideal state I wanted it in.
And so, somehow, even though I was shaking like a leaf and absolutely terrified of this thing and had no idea what the hell to do with it—should I spray it with more Zevo? Maybe I needed to empty the whole can on it—I managed to take a deep breath, square up my shoulders again, and drop a tennis shoe on it and kill it.
Then I went tiptoe-running across the room again going, “OMG OMG OMG OMG EW EW EWWWW!”
And after I sort of calmed down and cleaned its carcass off the floor with way too much toilet paper and gave it a burial at sea and freaked out because it unfurled from its little balled-up position when I dropped it in the toilet, I flushed it and washed my hands intensely while doing this weird little grossed-out shimmy at the sink trying to get the shakes to go away.
But you know what? I’m kind of proud of myself. I managed to kill a spider—not just any spider, but a large spider—all by myself. I worked through my sheer terror and managed to make the alive spider a dead spider, and even though I’ve still got the willies, and even though I’m still a bit twitchy from the experience over an hour later, I managed to kill a spider by myself today.
Moral of the story: occasionally, you have to face your fears, I guess? Take your wins where you can get them. And also, Zevo seems to work pretty okay and doesn’t smell quite as strong as most of the other spider-killer sprays I’ve used in the past, and it’s pet-friendly, which is a plus.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the story of my epic battle with the disgusting spider under my couch.
* When I told my mom about this whole event, she said she thought the spider was a wolf spider, which she says are scary looking but harmless. I say I don’t care what the hell kind of spider it is, I just want it dead and as far away from me as humanly possible.