So, maybe a year and a half ago, there was a spider in our garage.
This is probably not an uncommon occurrence. I wouldn’t know because I try not to think about it. I only think about spiders when I am confronted with absolute and incontrovertible evidence of their existence. Like when one slinks into view and stands next to me. Or across the room from me. Or in the hallway next to the room I’m in. Or, you know, crawls on my foot with its numerous and tickly little legs. Which is when I either scream, squeal, back away slowly, or cower in a corner with my hands over my eyes while begging my husband, Quinten, to get rid of it for me.
Yes, I am a cliché. Shut up. But I know I am a cliché, so that makes it okay. Actually, it upgrades the whole phobia because I am well aware of what I need in regards to safeguarding from spiders. And what I need is very simple. I need someone else to OH MY GOD GET IT AWAY FROM ME!! Preferably by implementing the death penalty, but really, as long as the spider is out of my presence, I don’t care what happened to it.
And I told Quinten this before we ever got married.
I think my exact words were, “You understand that spiders are your job, right?” And, if I recall correctly, he agreed that he would take on that responsibility. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was in our wedding vows.
So when something that looked like this
showed up in our garage, I felt like it was a perfectly reasonable request that my husband dispose of it. Right now. Like right now. Like rightfuckingnow!
And I didn’t put any conditions on my request. He could have killed it. He could have picked it up and carried it outside while petting it and whispering sweet nothings into whatever passes for its ears. I did not care which, as long as, in the end, it was no longer in my garage. See! Totally reasonable!
But my husband, my otherwise wonderful and dutiful husband, refused.
Me: But it’s in our HOUSE!
Quinten: No, it's in our GARAGE.
Me: The garage is part of the house.
Quinten: It is not. It’s more house-adjacent.
Me: I cannot believe I have to argue this point with you. The garage is attached to the house. It shares a wall with the house. All that is separating it from the house is one flimsy little door. That spider is ONE SCUTTLE away from being inside our house!
Quinten: Look, our cars are in there and we lift what amounts to a whole wall to get them out of there, I kind of regard it as neutral territory. It’s like Switzerland, where we can all peacefully coexist.
Me: This is not Europe. There are no Alps. I cannot peacefully coexist with a spider that is as big as your average Chihuahua.
Quinten: It is not that large.
Me: It is TOO that large! And, if you don’t get rid of it, I am never going back in the garage. Which means we’re not having dinner because right now what I need to make dinner is in the chest freezer in the garage and I won’t go out there and get it.
Quinten: I’ll get what you need.
Me: Forever? You will forever get what I need for me from the garage? Because if you don’t get rid of that spider, like you vowed to do at our wedding, I am never setting foot in your stupid “neutral zone” ever again.
Quinten: That was not in our wedding vows.
But he did finally get rid of the spider. Finally.
And for eighteen months, I have not mentioned his utter betrayal. Not once. Not even a hint. Because I believe in forgiving and forgetting. Sometimes. Sort of. Maybe. A little. Okay, I don’t, really, although I did it this one time because I am a tolerant and compassionate creature.
But no more! No more, I tell you. Because on Wednesday, Quinten learned that karma is quite the bitch.
What happened on Wednesday, you ask? Well, on Wednesday, this fellow
decided that our garage, our neutral zone, our Switzerland, house-adjacent garage, would be a fine place to hang out.
And, it turns out, my husband is afraid of snakes.
If I took a minute to laugh right now, that would be mean, wouldn’t it?
Quinten: (coming into the house from the garage, looking a little white and talking very, very fast) There’s a snake in the garage. A black snake. It’s big. I saw it slither in and it went behind that tub and the box in the corner…you know, where we keep the garden tools and the push broom. It went under there and I banged on the boxes but it wouldn’t come out.
I would like to note here that there are many things I could have said in this situation. I could have said that banging on boxes is not likely to make a snake come out, and might in face make a snake mad. I could have said that it was no big deal. I could have said, “It’s just in the garage. That’s neutral territory. It’s Switzerland. We can peacefully coexist with it in there.” But I didn’t. Because I am NICE.
Instead, I went out to the garage and pulled out the box and the tub with the garden tools in it and I didn’t see any snake. Instead, I looked under the nearby shelves and I didn’t see any snake. Instead, I very calmly reminded my husband that black snakes are not poisonous and it would probably leave on its own after finding we had nothing in there it could eat.
And, the next morning, after my husband had tiptoed very very quickly to his car in the garage and leapt into the front seat like something was going to shoot out from beneath his vehicle and wrap itself around his ankles, slowly squeezing him to death while repeatedly biting his tender flesh, I went out and opened the garage door and discovered our friend the snake right by the base of the door, where he had been trying to get out of our food-and-waterless wasteland of a garage and I just used the push broom to urge all three and a half feet of him into the open air, where he promptly disappeared into the bushes in our front yard.
Quinten? Cannot even hear that story without his heart racing and his hands shaking. And I’m pretty sure he’s avoiding the bushes in front of our house entirely. But I am not making fun of him for this. Because I take our wedding vows seriously.