There are a lot of ways I embarrass myself on a daily basis – falling, crying in public, saying awkward things – but I think some of my worst embarrassing moments have happened due to my fear of spiders. I know that everyone says this, but guys, seriously: I’m really afraid of spiders.
This fear is nothing to joke about. When I say I’m afraid of spiders, I don’t just mean that they gross me out and I don’t really want to get close enough to one to kill them. No, I mean that spiders literally give me major anxiety, even enough for a panic attack or two. I’m not just afraid of spiders – I am genuinely terrified of them. From the way I feel about them, you would think they’re giant monsters taking over the world (actually, don’t even joke about that).
How often have I made a complete fool out of myself thanks to creepy, crawly spiders? Um, I lost count when I was, like, 11-years-old. It’s bad. My friends and family pretty much hate me for it. In my defense, I can’t always be held accountable for my actions. Most people don’t understand the anxiety spiders give me – they think my fear is more about dramatics. It’s hard to explain that knowing a spider is near me makes it difficult for me to breathe or think in a rational way. I literally have no control over myself. I’m giving you a rundown of my worst moments in the hope that I realize I am not alone.
One of the first times I hung out with my boyfriend, I spotted a spider on his ceiling while we were making out. (Side note, I have a sense about spiders. I ALWAYS know when they’re around. It’s terrible.) For 1.5 seconds, I contemplated attempting to be cool about it since I was still in that stage of trying to impress him. Then the spider moved closer and I decided, nope, being single isn’t so bad. I literally pushed him off of me, rolled/fell off the bed half-naked and started crawling towards the door, shrieking “Spider! SPIDER!” I might have started crying. After he killed it, things were weird, as he tried to decide whether or not I was clinically insane.
There are two times I can remember that I’ve managed to get my normally calm best friend seriously mad at me. One time, I was innocently driving home at around 2 in the morning when, BOOM, a freakin’ spider fell from the ceiling right in front of my face. I swerved my car to the side of the road, screamed my head off, jumped out of the car and danced around shaking my head and freaking out. When I looked in the car, it was crawling across the dashboard. I was in a terrible neighborhood but couldn’t imagine getting back in my car – so I called my best friend.
She trekked out into the freezing cold night to find me standing outside of my car considering whether I would rather be in the car with a spider or get mugged (getting mugged didn’t seem so bad). When she couldn’t find the spider, I made her drive my car back to my house so I could drive hers so I didn’t have to get in my car. She did it, vowed to make fun of me for the rest of my life, but on the plus side, won Best Friend Of The Year.
Another time, we were in the middle of a long car ride when I spotted a spider crawling towards me faster than anything I’ve ever seen. I didn’t even know how to handle myself as it came closer, so I started hyperventilating and moving away until I literally was sitting on her lap… while she was driving. She screamed, “Jessica, GET OFF OF ME, you’re insane” and pulled over to yell at me. I deserved it, I almost killed us all. She barely spoke to me all weekend.
On a more serious note, I once had a legitimate panic attack thanks to a spider. I was home alone when I saw a huge, fuzzy black spider making it’s way across my bedroom ceiling. I ran out of the room screaming for help until I realized there was no one. I called my mom at work, hysterical. She tried to calm me down, but nothing was working. I have literally never felt so panicky in my life. I finally called my brother and begged him to come home from work to kill the spider for me. Once he got home, he found me crawled up in a ball downstairs, crying and shaking. It was so bad, he couldn’t even make fun of me. That’s a big deal for my brother.
Then there was that time I embarrassed myself in front of my entire homeroom class. In high school, there was this guy we’ll call O who thought my fear of spiders was hilarious. He tortured me constantly and loved to make me look like an idiot. One day, he put a very realistic looking fake spider in my desk. I sat down, opened it, saw the spider and all hell broke loose. I didn’t know it was fake, screamed like I was being murdered, everyone stared at me then started laughing, I immediately started crying and then I ran out of the school and went home for the day.
The weirdest part of that story? A few years later, O got in touch with me through Facebook saying he wanted to take me out. I still sort of hated him for the infamous spider incident but hesitantly agreed. O acted like a perfect gentlemen, and at the end of the night, he told me he had to take me out because, even years later, he still felt horrible about the spider prank. I guess it was kind of sweet.
I could go on for hours telling you about my embarrassing spider stories, but I won’t. I’m sort of getting creeped out – I keep looking around making sure there aren’t any watching me. I wish I could say my fear is getting better… but it’s totally not. So I want to know: have you ever done anything similar thanks to your fear?
What are you afraid of? Are you terrified of spiders also? Has your fear ever totally embarrassed you? Do you have some crazy stories? Tell me in the comments!