An Unexpected Houseguest

 I’ve made a new friend today. His name is Larry. He is a tarantula, and he has built a little spider web cave on my desk between Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, and The Art of Description. Larry was not there this morning, which has led me to believe that he rode in on our laundry that we hung out to dry. Despite the obvious creep factor of this entire situation, as his cave rests only inches away from the tippy top of my head, I am trying to talk myself out of freaking out.

For a number of reasons.

1– My husband is at work, and we have already had “the talk”. The one where certain tasks (ie: disposing of unwanted critters) falls to him to deal with. I refuse to touch the tarantula; therefore we are currently at a stalemate. 

 2- After a slightly harried Google search to dispel my tarantula ignorance, (Are they venomous? Can they jump? Do they like the taste of redheads?) I have discovered certain facts about them I find compelling: they eat scorpions (which we also have), their venom is not strong enough to kill our slightly cross eyed cat Sitka, (who is a terrible hunter whose only talent resides in the ability to piss off potential prey) and that some people have them as pets. There are those who have so much interest and compassion for these arachnids they welcome them as houseguests.

This has made me look at Larry in a slightly different light. Hence the name, “Larry”. I figured while we cohabit, it would be rude not to be on a first name basis.

So here I am now, warily eyeing the elaborate cave he has spun in so short a time. Two legs hook their way around the edge of my book, and I am somewhat comforted by the fact that he hasn’t moved yet- although my gaze darts back every minute or two, just to be sure.


I am also repeating a simple mantra to myself. It sounds awful stiff, and goes something along the lines of:

“Some people don’t have food, or fresh water. Others don’t have homes to chase spiders out of! Feel blessed that your house is so desirable, even Larry enjoys coming over for dinner.”

I know this is reminiscent of an “Eat your vegetables. There are starving children in the world!” speech. Which, always so far away in relatability to my childhood self, had no discernible effect on how much broccoli I ingested. Regardless, it’s beginning to make me feel better. Because, honestly- big picture here- Larry is not that scary.  Yeah, I’m noticing every movement he makes, and I would most definitely screech and flail about if he leapt onto my head; but there are a lot of places I would like to travel in this world that are considered pretty dangerous- and tarantulas are at the very low end of the scary spectrum. They’ll be welcome, most likely, now that I have begun an acquaintance.

The Larrys of the world are small. And who wants to sweat the small stuff?

Have you ever had an unexpected (or unwanted) houseguest?

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