I like spiders.
No, I love spiders.
One of the reasons (a small reason, but important, to be sure) that I hate being away from home for more than a few days is that I know that I’ll come home to find a can of Spider Kill displaying pride of place of the hall shelf — the purchase of my mother-in-law, who hates spiders with the same vigor that I respect them. She shares this fear with my eldest daughter, who won’t open the windows of her room, even in hot weather, for fear that a spider might get in through the screen.
They say that phobias are the manifestation of opposites. A humble person actually, perhaps unconsciously, is so conceited that he wants people to start a religion about him. People who fear spiders actually want to be them or eat them … or something.
I don’t believe this for a moment, at least spider-wise.
To love spiders, you have to be grateful to them. As Annie Dilliard wrote in her masterpiece, ‘A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek,’ “I allow spiders to run the house. I figure that any predator that hopes to make a living on whatever smaller creatures might blunder into a four-inch-square surface bit of space in the corner of the bathroom where the tub meets the floor needs every bit of my support. They catch flies and even field crickets in those webs.” While she allows that fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly, and insects seem to have to do one horrible thing right after another, she exempts spiders.