The Spider and Me


A spider is making her home in the skylight of my bathroom. Up high, where I can’t reach.

I am terrified of spiders, but also, I don’t like to kill them. I usually capture them in a glass and move them outside. This spider is too high to reach. This spider could fall on my head when I am stepping out of the shower or brushing my teeth.

What to do?

I move my toothbrush and toiletries to the other bathroom, the one the kids used to use every day, the one that hardly gets used now that the kids are grown and out of the house.

I still use our bathroom out of habit and in the middle of the night. For the last month as I enter the bathroom, I look up and make sure she is still there. I decided to befriend her and give her a name to see if I could get past my spider phobia. I named her Gertrude. Now every time I enter the bathroom I look up and say hello to Gertrude.

I’ve learned her daily routines. During the day she hides tucked in the corner and I never see her. As soon as it gets dark she hangs in the corner patiently waiting for her prey. I thank her for helping take care of the mosquitos and other flying creatures that make their way into the house.

Early this week when we were having the heat wave and my house was in the 90s and the top of the skylight was probably in the 100s, she came all the way out and was on the ceiling. The first day this made me nervous but then on the second hot day, I realized what was happening, she was overheating and trying to cool down. I did not realize spiders can overheat.

Now that it is cold and foggy again she has resumed her usual routine.

The kids are home visiting this week so I had to move back into my bathroom and I am proud to say that Gertrude and I are coexisting peacefully.

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