Last night I asked my 14-year-old daughter to throw a load of clothes in the washer (including her dirty volleyball uniform which she needed for a game tonight). Then I went out to pick up my 17 year old from her boyfriend’s house.
When I got home, 14 was talking to herself as she was coming up the stairs from our basement (where our washer and dryer reside). I asked what was wrong.
Turns out, a spider is ruining her life.
A brief history: We have a utility sink next to the washer, a sink that gets very little use. Maybe once a year when we paint a room, we use that sink to wash paint brushes. Other than that, the sink is home to empty Tide bottles, old paint brushes… and one very harmless spider.
We’ll call him Bob.
Bob doesn’t really bother anyone. He sits in his sink and looks up at me when I’m washing clothes. Sometimes he climbs up the side of the sink for a closer look. I blow on him and he scurries back down to the safety of the drain.
Bob doesn’t bother me, I don’t bother him; it’s a nice, healthy relationship.
Apparently, 14 does not approve of this little relationship. Not one bit.
Anytime I’ve asked her to do anything even remotely related to the basement, she brings up Bob. She thinks that Bob is creepy and that one day he will find a way out of his sink, up the basement stairs, up the house stairs, up to her room to possibly eat her in her sleep. I’m sure that would be a valid fear if Bob were a poisonous man-eating killer rather than a harmless little spider. But I digress.
On this particular evening, she went down to the basement with her pile of dirty duds in hand, and when she went to put them in the washer, she found there was already a load of clothes in the washer that needed to be moved to the dryer (God only knows how long that load had been sitting in there. I asked Bob if he knew, but he wasn’t talking). So rather than putting the clothes on the floor, she decided to put them in the empty clothes basket sitting next to the dryer.
And that’s when she discovered Bob’s buddy. We’ll call him George.
George is another spider, about twice the size of Bob. But 14 didn’t realize that Bob was still in the sink, and that this was a NEW denizen of the basement. She thought Bob had left the sink and taken up residency in the hamper. She needed that hamper and didn’t want to touch it, what with the potential of being a meal for him and all.
She threw the dirty clothes on the floor, took out the washed clothes from the washer and put the new load in, all while keeping one eye on the hamper. It was as she was coming up the stairs that I walked in to hear her talking to herself.
She told me, “That spider moved, he’s in the hamper now and I’m not going back down there. I don’t care. I don’t need my volleyball uniform that badly, I’ll quit the team before I go back down there.” Great. Now we’re gonna have to sell the house.
I went down to see what all the fuss was about and sure enough, Bob was in his sink, and George was in his hamper. The only problem is, we sort of need that hamper. It gets way more use in our house than the utility sink does (don’t judge, it’s a judge-free zone, remember?). So George had to go. Sorry George.
I took the hamper, flipped it upside down and George landed next to Bob in the utility sink. Then I turned on the water and sent George and Bob on a watery adventure down the drain. They weren’t wearing life vests, so I hope they’re good swimmers.
I still haven’t told my daughter that Bob was in the sink. She never looked. Ignorance is bliss, right? If she found out that there were not one but TWO spiders down there, I’d never get her to go down to the basement again. She remains my little drama queen, afraid of man-eating spiders named Bob and George that live in the basement.
Teri Biebel is a mom of two teenaged girls, two dogs, one cat and a herd of dust bunnies. She writes the blog Snarkfest and when she’s not busy being sarcastic and rolling her eyes, she can be found working in the non-profit world to support her wine and chocolate habit.
Photo credit: Yogendra Joshi