Within five minutes of arriving here ten days ago A, the mother of Ian's former office mate A and one of our hosts, took off one of her sandals and smashed a spider inside near the door, and quickly cleaned it away. “I hope you are not afraid of spiders,” she said, somewhat embarrassedly. “There are some.”
Although having a serious arachnophobe friend has rubbed off on me a little, I'm not generally that afraid of spiders, although admittedly I'm not particularly fond of the large, hairy-legged ones we get in our houses in the Northwest come fall. So I've more or less kept my eyes open here, since the element of surprise is a bad element when spiders are involved. There was one big spider in the kitchen the other evening which Ian smashed with the lid of the garbage can (my hero), and another one in a bedroom we're not using, so I pretended it was just a shadow. And then I assumed that, since we'd been here a week and a half already, the spiders had probably cleared out.
So this afternoon I was sitting on the couch feeling sad and missing our friends. I had just written my blog entry about how much fun it was to host some people, and then a Dave Matthews song came on the iPod and I suddenly felt very, very homesick for people, and I admit I sniffled a little and cried a tear or two. Ian was sitting on the bean bag on the floor watching me and looking a little sad himself. I reached up behind me to the windowsill and grabbed the roll of TP we've been using as Kleenex and pulled it into my lap, and at the same time pulled the huge spider that had been lodging there into my lap as well, where it crouched on the pocket of my shorts, inches from the hem of my very loose shirt, up which it would undoubtedly have scampered for cover if I hadn't shrieked and leapt up from the couch, batting frantically at my front. “What? WHAT?” Ian screamed, levitating up from the beanbag on the floor as I leapt across the living room and behind him, clutching at his arm.
“Spider . . .” I choked out, “big spider, on my pocket!”
“Where did it go?!”
“I think under the rug!”
Ian, my knight in a strange outfit of patchwork Hawaiian print swim trunks, short-sleeved tan and blue plaid button-down shirt and grass-green sweater, came to my rescue and walked carefully all over the rug, while I laughed hysterically. He then slowly peeled it back and saw that yes, indeed, he had been successful in slaying my dragon.
And then he took this picture of it.