This morning as I walked into the office, I stopped dead in my tracks at the sight of giant black spider on the bottom of the glass doors. I mean giant. The spider was at least 4 inches from leg to leg. There was another guy walking in at the same time. He stopped with me and looked at the spider. I was completely engrossed for a couple reasons: 1) fascination with nature, 2) concern for safety, and 3) eerie curiosity.
1) fascination with nature
This was a big beast. Much bigger than the normal spider. How amazing it is to see things that are out of the ordinary. Though I get excited to see the bunnies that live in my yard every night, too, this seemed extra special. Certainly worthy of a moment to observe.
2) concern for safety
I am always watching out for others – my wife, kids, family, friends, coworkers and strangers. I am the person who will alert housekeeping or a store employee when I come upon someone else’s spill in the aisle. I am the parent who picks up a glass bottle on campus, and the neighbor who will always stop to grab a stray dog (or moves a dead coyote out of the street). I know I am not unique in this – but some people are the ones leaving the spills, bottles and passing the dogs. At work, I am on the Medical Emergency Response Team. That means that if someone gets hurt or sick in the building, one of the MERT members gets called to the scene to help until authorities arrive. I have a vest and everything. As I saw the spider and tried to figure out if it was a Brown Recluse or some other coworker-eating variety, I imagined donning my vest and running down to help an unsuspecting victim just trying to get in to work on a Monday.
3) eerie curiosity
I am afraid of sharks (at least a little), but I still like to see pictures of them in all their ferociousness. I can’t stand scary movies – I mean, like for real can’t stand them – but I like to listen to the creepy music from them. Its like a little taste of scary, without the full dose.
I don’t like spiders, but I am not afraid of them. I wasn’t in a hurry to grab it and hold it, but I did want to check it out. Whenever I am called upon for spider duty, I am able to catch and relocate the little guys from inside our home to a more appropriate place outside. We always leave spiders outside alone, because that is their home. Though this spider was outside, it was not quite at home. As I stood for a few seconds trying to decide what to do, the guy next to me flicked the spider off of the door onto the ground. “It’s fake,” he said.
What? Seriously? It didn’t look fake. I had to keep myself from jumping back when he flicked it off the door. I am sure that I moved a little bit anyway – hopefully he didn’t notice. I felt so silly! Here I am, the spider relocator of my home, and I was ready to jump away from this… fake spider. Sigh. Clearly the absence of anyone relying on my role as the spider relocator, the protector, the defender, the door opener, the Butch, meant that I got to be… scared, creeped out, and jumpy.
Sometimes it is Butch to not be butch at all. Be Butch.