I tried to think of the best way to begin this story. First, I was going to tell you about how my sister and I got sparkly flowers painted on our toes when Chris and I went to close on our house. Mine are hot pink, and have a white hibiscus with silver sparkle paint on each big toe. So cute. My sister got a sunflower.
Then I decided that was digging too far back, so I was going to tell you about how my dog Willie learned to swim in a lake at a park in San Antonio this past Saturday. I was feeling particularly benevolent after we did the Flag Day 5k and hit the farmer’s market, so we showered, sunscreened back up, and took him to Woodlawn Lake park. He jumped in the water after his ball like a natural, was surprised that the surface he’d jumped on to wasn’t a solid, frantically paddled back to shore, then “chased” every subsequent stick we threw by dipping his paw into the water and trying to make elaborate paddling movements to draw the stick to shore. Looks like we’ll be working on this some more in Colorado.
When we got home, we were all filthy from the mud and sand on the shore, so we decided to bust out the hose and give him a good bath in our backyard. The hose felt good, with nice cool water. Willie seemed to love it, and Chris and I were blithely spending time OUTSIDE in TEXAS. This has never happened. Not in two years and one and a half months of living here. I saw a red ant on my leg, and just hosed it off. Falalalala! Joy unbounded for us all.
THIS motherfucker was ON MY FOOT. Not just near me, or brushing next to me. No. It was just hanging out on the very top of my foot near my ankle, having climbed over my flip flop to reach my creamy foot-skin. I’m not ashamed to say that I lost my shit completely. I simultaneously screeched, performed a major act of kickboxing, shot the hose at full blast in the direction of my foot, and ran, convulsing violently, into the house. I sat on the kitchen chair, sobbing hysterically, and furiously clawing at my skin like I was on PCP for the better part of 15 minutes. Chris came inside shortly after I did. He didn’t know what was going on at first, but saw the thing from 5 yards away, climbing around on our grass, and guessed I had had a brush with it. Then he gave me 1/2 a valium, because he’s a good husband and an even better doctor, and he knew I was experiencing what might turn into a cardiac event if I didn’t settle down soon. Or possibly he was tired of listening to me wail.
Then he told me that I had been very sensible about the whole thing, and confirmed that I was, indeed, to be pitied thoroughly for what happened. He sat on the bench by the bathroom while I showered, crooning calming things to me, and then we had ice cream for lunch AND dinner, and watched the entire first season of Lie to Me.
I’ve been wearing socks for the past 3 days.
I’ll never go in my yard again.
Screw you, Texas.
To add insult to considerable injury, I found out later that these tarantulas come out for a while in summer to look for mates, and they’re active when it rains. So I basically set myself up by being out during mating season, making it rain for an extended period of time with the hose. And he had no choice but to attempt meaningful and erotic intercourse with my foot. I was asking for it. I was dressed like a tramp, all that foot-skin showing right at compound-eye-level. And drizzling cool, tempting water down my toe cleavage.
My brother says it laid eggs in my skin, but that’s just because he’s tired from being tortured at Quantico and wants me to be equally miserable. The jokes on him, because I know in my heart that male spiders don’t lay eggs. My foot is probably covered in tarantula spunk, though. I should look into making sure it’s been thoroughly washed off of me. I am spider bukaake.