Abe the Arachnid

I have never, ever been a fan of spiders. In fact, when I see one, I usually find the nearest heavy object in which to smash them to smithereens. My capacity to actually care about the life of a spider surprised me recently.

My job can be quite solitary. There are people who come in and out, but for all intents and purposes, I work alone most of the time. One morning in May, I noticed what I thought was a Daddy long-legs spider hanging from a web behind the door to my office. Of course, my first reaction was to kill him, but something made me stop and reconsider its life. He (she? it?) wasn’t threatening me and he was actually kind of cute. The next thought I had was to gently put him outside, but even that seemed cruel and heartless. So, Abe (as I named him) stayed. He hung around, literally, for a few days and became part of my space. He was always out in view in the morning, but by the afternoon, he found places to hide, I presumed. One day, Abe wasn’t in his usual spot, but had found a new place not far away, but in a much more open area. I did start to worry that someone else might see him and stomp him, but every morning, he was out and every afternoon, he was hiding again. I looked forward to seeing him. I realize that this sounds crazy. I also started noticing more spiders, so I guess he was procreating. There were at least 4 other spiders taking up residence in the office and I decided to let them all live, even though I was momentarily freaked out every time I saw one in a new place.

Yesterday, I came in to the office late and a co-worker who only comes in occasionally was there. She joyfully declared that she had killed “at least 4 spiders” and I guess she expected praise, but I was mortified and quite saddened. After she left, I looked in all their usual places, but there were no spiders to be found. I mourned Abe and his family and tried to console myself with the fact that they had lived inside the office for almost 2 months.

This morning, out of habit, I looked for Abe and he was there, in his usual place. I can only surmise that he knew he was in danger and ran for his life as fast as his 8 legs could travel.

I hope to see many more little Abes very soon. Does this mean every spider who enters my personal space will be welcomed? Probably not, but this experience has taught me about the infinite capacity to care for even the smallest, most feared among us.

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The Feminist Double Standard

Lately I have been noticing a trend that seems to have its roots in social media.  I belong to a closed group on Facebook called 50 and Fabulous.  This is the place where we menopausal ladies can gripe, talk about our saggy boobs and lament our empty nests.

It’s also a place where married women can openly drool over the supposed perfect man for the menopausal set, Sam Elliott.  selliott  I have seen an openness among married women on social media to drool over men other than their husbands and to celebrate our liberation by ogling  any man we find hot.   The point is that we have absolutely no qualms about drooling over half naked men and taking the time to post and share whatever hottie we think our friends might fancy.  Most of us are secure in our marriages, but I know for a fact that many, if not all, of these women would not find it nearly as amusing to see their husbands posting and sharing half naked pics of whomever they find attractive.  If said women were thinner, younger, and prettier, the wound would hurt even more.  Is it ever ok to openly gawk at a good looking stranger in front of your spouse?  I say no.  It’s disrespectful.

Most wives and husbands play a game where they name one celebrity crush that they would cheat on the other spouse with if the chance ever arose.  It’s all fun and games, because you know it’s never going to happen.  I have many married male friends on Facebook and I have never once seen any of them post and share pics of beautiful women other than their own wives.

I choose not to hurt my husband’s sense of self-worth by making him feel any less about himself.  We are not perfect people.  I love him and find him immensely attractive.  I like to show him that he is the only one for me by not comparing him to guys half his age and I know he feels the same about me.