Sunday, December 12th 2010
You Bring the Potatoes, I’ll Supply the Spiders

I can’t believe Christmas is almost here… I never got around to telling you about Thanksgiving. Actually, I never told you about LAST Thanksgiving. And there is much to tell.  Here. Let’s just do a little abridged version now. It’ll get your mind off any Christmas shopping stress and we’ll go back to Thanksgiving 2009, instead. Brilliant.

(It’s a blog. No rules. We can do this.)

Thanksgiving 2009, we all went to my dad and stepmother’s house. By ‘all’ I mean: my sister, my cousin, my dad and stepmother’s golf pro whose name I forgot, Mike, our kids, and my MOTHER. It was the first time we have all, uh, celebrated a holiday in that particular format of ex-husband, ex-wife, current wife.  They all insisted they were all grownups and there would be no issues of any kind and of course it makes sense.

LaLa and I had our doubts. Secretly. About them all being grownups.


Really, the only one whose maturity is ever questioned is my dad, and that’s only because he has a gross sense of humor from time to time.  And that’s a bit unfair. Probably.

It was all fine until they started throwing mashed potatoes at each other and they splatted on the walls with big, wet shmacks.

Sorry. I’m kidding. They were all grownups and there were no ‘issues’ at all, or potato throwing,  and it was SO kind that their maturity level and grace and kindness and goodwill toward all afforded that particular holiday. I’m grateful for my kids’ sake that they can have all grandparents at once for holidays. Awesome. I could really learn a few things from those 3. This week. Just sayin’.

So we’re all sitting around the table and HolyCousin is at one end of the table, and LaLa (sister) is across from me… and I forget where everyone else was. (It’s been awhile.) The afternoon was cold and clear and the sunlight shone in through the window behind HolyCousin and illuminated a very large spider walking on her left shoulder.

LaLa and I saw it at the same time.

But neither one of us could speak.

Or move.

Or point.

Or do anything of a helpful nature at all.

Might I just point out, that spider picked the RIGHT person. HolyCousin is a paragon of calm, organization, low emotion, whatever I can do that, that AND that before you even realize you NEED me to do any of it. That’s just who she is.  (The Air Force probably seriously wants her back, but too bad, I don’t think she’ll go.)

So back to the spider.

The sun illuminated its disgusting, brown hairy legs as they moved in spidery ways on HolyCousin’s shoulder.

LaLa and I looked at each other, then back at the spider, our mouths opening and shutting but no sound coming out. We gave each other small nods and large eyes that said, “you see it. and I see it. but we are the only ones… and what can we doooooo? we cannot speak or move. we are paralyzed…with… horror….”

I really hope that if I ever have a giant hairy-legged spider on me, LaLa is not the only one around who sees it. Or vice versa. We were pathetic.

Somehow the spell was broken and one of us managed to point.

To point…?

How lame.

No kidding.

HolyCousin made a sound like, “huh,” and turned to see it, nose to nose. (Do spiders have noses? Probably not. You know what I mean.) It was the sort of ‘huh’ I might say if someone said I had a harmless piece of lint on my shirt.  THAT is HolyCousin.

I think it was my mom who went to try to assist with the spider removal. It sure wasn’t me. It probably wasn’t LaLa. I don’t think it was the golf pro. And it TOTALLY wasn’t my dad, who is worse about spiders than both his daughters combined. It might have been my stepmom, who, like my mom, is also not afraid of spiders.

Makes no difference. Because over the next hour, there were multiple spider sightings on various people and HolyCousin, stepmom, and mother all handled the spider removal process very well. I was VERY on edge and jumpy. So was my dad. My napkin slid on my lap and I almost totally lost it. It felt spidery.

My stepmom is wonderful with plants. And she’d brought some in so that they wouldn’t freeze and there they were in the dining room — whose pots were apparently full of spiders who thought, “Hey! The nice lady brought us in for Thanksgiving dinner! Sweet!”

The food was lovely. The parental units were lovely. The plants lived,  the spiders died, and I was VERY thankful. Amen.


Jennifer Sullivan has a blog. Yeah! She really does!  She didn’t exactly mention it for awhile… but I did that too when this little site was new. Anyway – go say hi!


8 Comments on “You Bring the Potatoes, I’ll Supply the Spiders”

December 12th, 2010
9:19 pm

a) The golf pro came to Easter dinner, not Thanksgiving. He was treated to several stories about our father accidentally starting fires, not the 3 of us gaping like fish at the sight of a spider.
b) Mom was the caped crusader spider killer of the day. It took several sightings for each spider, and in the meantime you and Daddy and I each came *this* close to spider-caused freak-outs more than once but in the end, Mom killed ‘em and we survived.
c) This most recent Thanksgiving was spider-free in part because when discussing who should bring what this year, I tactlessly pointed out that it would be super-lovely this year if in order to save her plants, our lovely green-thumbed stepmom should save them in a room other than the dining room. She was quite surprised by that suggestion.
d) If I ever find a spider on me, I want HolyCousin to be there to save me. Her calm will make me look even more idiotic than usual, but she will also show me the spider-carcass more efficiently than anyone else in the world.
e) Remember the time you and I were home alone with baby Caden and there was a large spider in your laundry room and the only way we could deal with it was to take turns running in, spraying hairspray, throwing bowls, and clutching each other for support in the kitchen afterwards? We couldn’t fall asleep that night, knowing there was a spider (dead or alive) in the laundry room. We were very twitchy.
f) “She gave us YIFE? I think I only got underwear.” Nothing to do with spiders but it’s still making me laugh.

Jennifer Sullivan
December 12th, 2010
10:54 pm

I don’t even remember whose house we were at for Thanksgiving last year! You have a great memory!

Nope, spiders don’t have noses.

Thanks for mentioning my blog!

December 12th, 2010
11:19 pm

Nah, Jennifer, my sister has a great memory. I get Easter and Thanksgiving confused, apparently.

For the record, our dad is not an arsonist. The accidental fires were totally well intentioned and he doesn’t do that anymore. That I know of.

December 13th, 2010
4:50 pm

My first memory of a spider involves my mother, a spray bottle, her screaming, and running and jumping on a couch and aiming said spray bottle at the ceiling.

I was 8.

22 years later and my first thought upon seeing any spider is to grab a spray bottle, scream and run for the couch.

However, I have two kids that I’m trying to train NOT to freak the heck out when they see anything with more than two legs.

Instead I call my husband while he’s at work and ask him to come home to kill them. And sometimes he does. Other times it’s the spray bottle, the screaming, the running and throwing of self onto the couch.

I’m saving for my kids’ therapy bills.

December 14th, 2010
2:35 pm

“I’m saving for my kids’ therapy bills.”


December 14th, 2010
9:48 pm

Sarah, you inspired Jenniver Sullivan to write something…. nvm, i’ll email you the link. funny!

Russell, I get it! Shall have the website magic people address the concern promptly, and maybe fix that broken ‘contact me’ link too….

December 17th, 2010
5:29 am

Regarding LaLa’s point e): Hairspray and bowls (and sometimes cups) are my weapons of choice when engaging in warfare against spiders too. It also works on June bugs. A friend and I once killed a June bug using only hairspray. I think it took the entire can.
Geekwif recently posted..Remember What I Said About Libraries

December 17th, 2010
11:09 am

Geekwif – I buy hairspray solely for its bug-killing properties! I think the scientists call that ‘adaptive reuse.’ :)

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