I wrote this July 3, 2011 after a long, lovely but trying day at the Girdwood Forest Fair. This was a weird weekend. This was right around the time I met my now husband, I was living in a friends basement and was conquering fears all over the place. I spent this entire summer in a pair of leggings and a black lycra mini skirt. I wore a neon teal feather in my hair and went to a lot of dance parties. If I had to pick a moment in my 20’s where everything was super fucking cool with little to no downsides, these few weeks in June and July 2011 are it.
Also, for the record, my fear of spiders is very real and I have to take medication at night to not have nightmares about bugs being all over me. So there’s a little context for this story. Enjoy.
Alternately Titled: Conquering Fears and Injuring Bitches.
Yesterday was a most epic ladydate day and so many things happened that I feel an almost moral obligation to share its contents with the internet at large.
Let me start with this: I don’t camp. I don’t camp not because I don’t like camping, or because I’m afraid of bears. I don’t camp because I hate bugs. I would seriously sleep in the dirt on the ground with nothing more than a blanket to keep me warm and guarded against the elements if I could guarantee that no bugs could touch me. I have a serious, no joke, full on freak out response phobia of spiders in particular. I am a mostly rational human being who understands that I am approximately a billion times the size of a spider and that there is not much a spider can do to me to harm me. Alaska is not home to many poisonous species of spiders (save the Brown Recluse which I have seen a few of in my years in Alaska but its rare.) so really I’m fully aware that my pathological aversion to spiders is ridiculous.
However that does not stop me from having a nervous breakdown in the backseat of a moving vehicle after a long afternoon at the Girdwood Forest Fair where I appear to have brought home a small brown companion that is now scaling my arm. NO! Holy shit now it’s on my leg! FUCK! NOW I DON’T KNOW WHERE IT IS OH MY GOD I CAN FEEL IT EVERYWHERE ON ME THERE ARE A MILLION OF THEM STOP THE CAR STOP THE CAR STOP THE CAR.
I see the spider first on my left arm, I swing wildly and knock it off somewhere into the recesses of the car. We are headed back to Anchorage from the Girdwood Forest Fair so we are on the Seward Highway traveling roughly 5,000 mph on a two lane road that is couched between sheer mountain face and steep inlet bluffs. The spider is loose in the vehicle and I have nowhere to run. Instant paralyzing fear grips me. I continue to brush my arm fruitlessly still feeling the phantom footsteps of my tiny assailant.
Moments later its making its furious ascent up my leg. I bat wildly again and knock him to the floor boards, still pretty much freaking out but not yet wailing or crying. I continue to run my hands over my arms and legs knowing that my tiniest attacker is still on the prowl and has not yet been subdued. The car continues to careen towards town and I soldier silently on in the backseat, suffering this continued affront to my humanity with dignity and poise.
Until that little fucker appears again, a third time from between my legging clad thighs. And this, dear readers, is when I lose my shit. I scream and claw madly at my legs this time taking note of where this eight legged terrorist has fallen to the floor boards and then I begin the unbridled dance of spider death and stomp the shit out of him while screaming and crying. Three times, friends, three times is too many for me. At this point I ask quietly if my dear friend and driver can please pull the car over at the next available turn out so we can do a spider check. I fear my fragile emotional state will not be able to handle any more encounters with the denizens of nature and that if this happens again in an enclosed vehicle I will be forced to throw myself from a moving car on a busy highway just to escape the wrath of these horrible creatures Satan has clearly cast created to haunt mere mortals on Earth.
We do our spider check, I come away clean. My ladyfriends do not mock or joke about the serious emotional turmoil I have just suffered. Nor do they make fun of the fact that all the excitement has now sent me into an asthmatic fit and I’m reduced to hyperventilating and puffing on my inhaler. No, they pander to my crazy and pat me down for spiders. We continue on our way towards town.
We decide to take a detour and climb a fucking mountain. What?!? Yeah. A fucking mountain. Which normally would be a huge deal for me because I am also scared of heights and sharp pointy things like rocks. However after having just survived the Epic Battle of Spidery Terror I am remarkably calm about scaling a rock face in my Toms canvas shoes and lightweight hoodie.
Which is good because I got to see this:
And that was my Epic Ladydate Day. (There was also fried foods, feathers in my hair, fake tattoos and the invention of a fake biker gang, lots of photos and a house party but those are all totally secondary to how epic the first part of the day was.)