May Well Prefer To… 5


Over the past 6 months, Oldest child has been obsessed with learning about poisonous spiders. We have spent many hours on YouTube and Google studying the top ten dangerous spiders of the world, and the library would probably consider us the modern version of the Addams Family if it reviewed our borrowing history.

Unlike my boy, I’m not a huge fan of members of the arachnid family, but as a boymom, I try my best to dive in face first. Learning about them has brought some interesting reactions, both expected and unexpected.

I expected to be grossed out!

Did you know that most spiders don’t eat their prey whole? Instead, they expel digestive enzymes into their prey with their bite. The enzymes liquefy the insides of the creature, leaving the exoskeletal system more or less intact, and then the spider can suck the liquefied guts into its stomach through the hairs on its mouth.

Hey…what’s for lunch? Fly-gut milkshake, anyone? I’ll let you pick out your own hairy straw!  Nasty!  {Insert little boy giggles here.}

I expected to be amazed!

The most dangerous spider in the world is the Brazilian wandering spider. This spider, my son’s personal fave, lives on the jungle floor in Brazil. Unlike most spiders that wait for their prey to encounter their traps, the wandering spider aggressively hunts. When it is ready to attack, it rears up on its hind legs, lashes out at its prey, and bites with the most deadly venom in the world. According to what we’ve learned, the venom is strong enough to cause paralysis and asphyxia in humans, not to mention a long-term, extremely painful erection. Apparently, scientists are currently studying the venom in an effort to produce a rival drug for Viagra.

So fascinating! And a little bit scary at the same time. I wonder what they’ll call it. Poisonwood?  {Insert immature adult giggles here.}

I did not expect to be able to relate!

The funnel-web spider is a highly venomous spider found in southern Australia. It measures about 2 inches long, and it has large, powerful fangs that are strong enough to penetrate fingernails and soft shoes. It is called a funnel-web spider because it builds itself a silk-lined burrow in the shape of a funnel, which is used to catch its prey. “When a male funnel-web finds a female’s burrow, he taps out a signal to tell her he wishes to mate with her. The female, however, may well prefer to eat him” (Wolf, Alex, Killer Spiders, 1964).

Hilarious! To the female funnel-web: you are my long lost sister-wife! I love my husband deeply, but there are times when I may well prefer to eat him.

Like the time he sprayed 409 cleaner down my pants (yes, in my crack!) instead of helping me clean up the whole watermelon that I had just dropped in the middle of our kitchen floor;

And the time he told the entire church that my celeb crush is Ashton Kutcher (to be clear: clean-cut, Nikon commercial Ashton, not scruffy Two and a Half Men Ashton);

And the time he convinced me to jump the tracks of the L-train in Chicago not once, but twice, almost getting us arrested, or worse, killed;

And the time he took our chocolate lab to the vet, and came home with not just said chocolate lab but also a black lab, whom he named Dave;

And all those times he said HE was tired when I had been the one up all night long with our new baby, times three;

And the time he…

Let’s just say my husband’s had better luck than those poor male funnel-web spiders.

Marriage is a funny thing, isn’t it?  Yes, my husband drives me nuts at times, and it’s absolutely maddening to the core.  But those other times, he’s exactly what I want and need, and more.  My husband is playful, spontaneous, loud, and affectionate.  He works hard, plays hard, and rests hard.  He spends his time doing the things that energize and strengthen him.  He is adventurous, both in life and in love.  And he loves God more than anything or anyone else.

I am thankful for the complement he is to me.  If I were left to my own devices, I would probably surround myself with other introverted, overly analytical, melancholy souls.  We would have lots of deep conversation about our lives, and we would strategize to solve the problems of the world.  It would be calm and safe and enjoyable at first, but then we’d struggle to find joy and wonder.  After enough time, I would likely make the choice to go live like a recluse in my dark, cold basement.

Oh, the brown recluse is another interesting spider.

There are a lot of spiders in my basement.

Good thing I know a lot about spiders.

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