Friday, January 15, 2010

The Care and Feeding of Bev

Yesterday Cary over at LOTD asked us about our phobias which triggered a conversation with a friend regarding my own personal demon: spiders. I have a lifelong aversion to spiders, and the mere sight of even a spindly Daddy Long Legs makes my blood run cold and sends shivers down my spine. Many times I've tried (and failed) to pinpoint when and why I became so phobic of a creature that is largely harmless to humans here in the northeast. I did come up with two possible explanations:

a. In large part it was the disgusting fat-bodied gray barn spiders that populated my mother's horse barn when I was a kid. The place had a low-ceiling and she wasn't bothered by the fly-eating arachnids so she never swept down their webs. As a horse-obsessed child, this provided a terrible conundrum: enter the barn to feed and care for the horses with her and risk walking into a web or worse - having one unexpectedly drop down onto my hair! - or stay out of the barn and not pet the pretty horsies. Obviously, I chose the former and still bear the emotional scars caused by the staring of so many beady eyes.

b. In a past life I may or may not have been buried alive. Perhaps my final conscious thoughts consisted of the horrifying realization that I was covered in disgusting scuttling spiders in my dark, cavernous grave? Just a theory.


Suffice to say, I hate spiders. Other kinds of bugs don't faze me one little bit, even the ones that resemble spiders. Show me a spider of any variety, from tarantulas (GAG) to those itty bitty black fast little suckers that come out in the spring, and all I want to do is squish it and squish it fast. Frankly, I prefer it if someone else squishes them, especially if the creepy-crawly is on the ceiling or anywhere that they could move quickly and fall into my hair! My husband and close friends understand this about me and oblige because they love me and really, I don't ask for much.

Relocating the spider won't satisfy me; I am not satisfied until that spider is a smear on the wall and can never, ever touch me. Irrational? Yeah, probably, but that is one of my very few demands and step 1 of THE CARE AND FEEDING OF BEV.

I have a few other requirements as well.

2. Feed me in a timely manner.

Why? Because if I don't eat regularly I get cranky. Really cranky. Bite your fucking head off cranky. Trust me, you wouldn't like me when I'm cranky.

Mala likes to remind me that one of the first things I ever said to her when we were getting to know each other at the TV station where we worked was, "Hi, I'm Bev. I hope we have a dinner break soon because I get really cranky and mean when I'm hungry! If I'm ever mean to you, I'm probably just hungry." One thing about my smart BFF Mala: you only have to tell her once. To this day she makes sure I get my snacky-poos and in the 12+ years we've been friends we have never had a fight, ever. Coincidence? I think not.

My husband and family are the same way. It's very rare that I am snippy, so if I get sharp with them they look alarmed, then mildly amused, then they ask me if I'm hungry.

3. I'm a pretty smart chick, but I have my "dumb blond" moments like anybody else. When I have them, please don't rub it in.

It's just that simple. My husband defers to me on just about everything really important: I run the house, pay the bills, keep the kids clean and fed, and arrange the social calendar. I decide when the mortgage needs refinancing and make it happen while my husband sits there shell-shocked and lets the "grown-ups" hash out the details. When I decide we need life insurance or 529 plans, I tell him where to sign. That's just how we roll.

But every so often I will do or say something so idiotic that even I am appalled, like on NYE when I thought I'd just keep the ham warm in the oven, so I started to pop it in there on a thick plastic cutting board. Thank goodness Jim was on the ball and stopped me before I had a melted plastic ham-splosion coating my oven! Oh, the smell that would have produced, not to mention ruining a beautiful honey-glazed spiral ham. Egads.

Now that's pretty dumb, but my loved ones didn't rub my nose in my idiocy because they know it's not the norm. They know I've got a lot on my mind these days. They merely chuckled and proceeded to get me drunk, which is what good friends do.

4. I am forgiving, but you can only push me so far.

I will forgive my friends for just about anything; last year three different close friends did the following: one got wasted on dirty martinis and pulled me over backwards, breaking my molar, one stalked off in a huff in the middle of Boston at midnight, leaving me in tears, and one grabbed my ass/hit on me. Was I angry? Sure, but I got over it. I get bent out of shape and it takes me approximately 2 days before I am over it and ready to move on. I don't forget about it, but I have a very high tolerance for friend faux-pas. Heck, I'm sure I've said and done shitty things to friends and I'd like to be forgiven if that is the case, so who am I to judge?

That being said, I do tell them that it hurt me, and they usually apologize and that's all I need. I'm not a doormat, I just like my peeps and I can overlook those "oops" moments a little more willingly than most. But if you do it repeatedly or do other things that make me believe that you're just a "taker," that's it. It's deep-freeze time. Quid pro quo, Clarice. I have my limits.

5. Know this: I need "me" time. Make sure I get it.

I love my kids, but they sometimes drive me insane. As much as I dream of being able to stay home and write and still earn a living, I know I'm just not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom. I love my children with a fierceness that sometimes surprises and scares me, but most days I really don't mind dropping their little tushes off at school and going my merry way to work. Jim gets it and willingly watches the kids while I go to concerts or distant cities every so often, and I reciprocate with an "open-ski" policy all winter long. It works out well and neither of us ends up feeling too burned out with the child-rearing. Most days.

I am their mother first, however I am still me and I refuse to give up my "non-mother" identity.

I think that one of the reasons why I detest my crap job so much is that no one here ever leaves me alone. I really need more autonomy in my workplace, and this job has effectively ruined me for office jobs. All I think about is escaping to a place where no one bugs me about stupid shit, where the phone rings and I don't have to get it, and where I only have to worry about my work and how it benefits me & my family, not someone else. Dream on, right?

So there you have it - 5 simple tips for creating a happy Bev. Not so daunting, eh? Feel free to print these out. You know, just in case. ;-)



Organic Meatbag said...

well, that dapper little spider in your picture sure looks friendly!!

MtnMama said...

First: Know thyself.

I think you've got that covered pretty well, Bev - which is why you are such a well adjusted and good friend. Not as many dark things making nests in your brain. (eeeewwww!)

I share your disgust of spiders, and I've already got my kid trained to alert me immediately if she spies one making an appearance in our home.

Anonymous said...

i miss having a blog...

i have a big fear of spiders and tend to freak out at the sight of the big, woolly (sp?) ones. and i also grew up with horses. coincidence?

as far as the smart chick thing, i totally get that. 'cept i am nowhere near as smart as the bev - the husband handles all things financial. i just can't do it! but i am the smart chick in that i don't do dumb shit like lose my keys by accidentally dropping them down the elevator shaft, and i'm not constantly misplacing shit. that would drive me insane and i don't think my husband would have anything to do with me if i were "that" chick.


Elliott said...

I don't understand the spider thing, I think it's something buried in our DNA. Over the years I've built up a tolerance for them, but there is still the rule in place that if I can reach them, they're fair game.

Lori has the same 'Angry Hungry' thing going, so I fully understand.

One final note. If we ever happen to be in the same place at the same time, I'm totally grabbing your ass.

Salt said...

I'm printing them out and hanging them on the bulletin board in my office RIGHT NOW!!!

I wish all spiders looked as non-threatening as that guy tipping his hat in the pic. I might have less of a hard time with them then.

I can relate to ALL of these things. Especially the grouchy when hungry. It took a little while, but my fiancé finally learned. :)

Cary said...

Spiders I can handle. Praying mantises (mantii?) freak me out. I'm not scared of them, they just freak me out. I once saw one kill a mouse. You forget a thing like that.

Bev, how do you feel about trouser snakes?

Bev said...

OM - Yes, which is why he was chosen. I had a very hard time hitting "submit" on that Google image search, lemme tell ya!

MtnMama - Thanks, girl! I do know myself, even the things that I wish I didn't know. It's not always pretty, but at least if I know about my crazy bits I can confront them, right? RIGHT?!

Anon - Yes, the barn spiders are THE WORST. That's why Charlotte's Web is like torture for me. ICK.

You're every bit as smart as The Bev, I am positive. Funny thing is that I hate math & finance, but I somehow have been forced to marinate in it my whole GD life.

And yeah, "that chick" sounds annoying as hell!

Elliott - Duly noted! And hey, I forgive you in advance.

Salt - I'm glad the fiance has your back! It's important. He'll find that it removes a lot of potential for fighting and it will serve him well to keep you well-fed!

Cary - I can imagine that would be a freaky sight! Eeek.

Oh, and I love Trouser Snakes! They're so friendly, especially when you give them kisses.

Frank Irwin said...

I think that it was the Jonny Quest spider that creeped me out on spiders. I'm not so bad these days, though.

I also get cranky when I'm hungry.

It's go to know that I get at least one free ass-grab, Bev!

WV: aftnu - What I'll say to you as we enter a door, opening the door (so to speak) for my free ass-grab.

calicobebop said...

Spiders are evil, there can be no doubt about it. I have been terrified of them for as long as I can remember. Thankfully, my little girl doesn't seem to be phased by them. Maybe that means she can take over spider-killing duty...

I need my "me time" too - probably have to much of it to be honest...

Mala said...

Ha! I love your reasoning as to why we've never had a fight. Works for me! But really, I think it's cause we soul sistas!
And after 12 years, I'm still holding my free ass-grab card. Just waiting for THE right time.

And yes, spiders suck. My house in FL was infested with Wolf Spiders *shivers*. Big, fat, hairy bastards!

Senorita said...

I get snippy too, when I am hungry. I used to waitress during college, and I hated dealing with the hungry public.

By the way, your word verication du jour is "steadump". Is that short for steady dump ?

Elliott said...

Mala, those spiders are the reason Terminix is out to our house every two months. One of the hairy bastards jumped out of my nightstand at me one morning.

Mala said...

Elliott - Vicious little bastards! I was a broke college kid so I couldn't afford a real terminator so I set off bug bombs like they were air freshners.
One woke me up in the middle of the night by walking up my thigh under the sheets. Of course by the time I found an object big enough to whach it with it had disappeared in my bed. From then on I just gave up sleeping.

Heather said...

I hate spiders too. I know why too. My sister made me watch arachnaphobia when I was little and ever since I've been scared pooless.

Is it okay if I sit down here and stay awhile? I really like it here in Bev's head.

Cary said...

You had to mention the ass grab, didn't ya? I apologized at the time. Will you ever let me off the hook?

Bev said...

Frank - hahahaha!! Yeah, yeah... I knew admitting that fact was gonna cause trouble. ;)

Calico - there is no such thing as too much me time!

Mala - We are soul sistahs indeed! *happy sigh*

Senorita - Ugh, the hungry public! Fuggetaboudit!

Male & Elliott - DUDES. Nightmares!!!!!!!

Heather - Sure, get comfy! You can hang out in my head anytime. :)

Bev said...

Ha! Cary sneaked one in there when I wasn't lookin'.

(That's what she said)

Cary, it wasn't the ass-grabbing so much as the obscene gestures and grunting ape noises that followed. Get it together, man!

Elliott said...

Lori had to kill one of the bastards in the middle of the night based on its vague shape alone - she wasn't wearing her glasses.

Oh, and there's this little item nobody saw, since I realized a while back that nobody reads my weekend posts:
Don't say I didn't warn you

onebadmamajama said...

I feel the same way about birds. Spiders don't bother me so much as long as they aren't actually ON me.

Also, I get the same way when I don't get enough sleep. Which makes working nights a real booger sometimes.

PorkStar said...

Spiders are ok with me, depending on the size. The bigger, the creppier of course, but i'd prefer a big spider than a roach. Roaches, I detest with a fiercely passion. Back in South America I don't recall ever seeing a roach, but once I moved here and took notice of those disgusting creatures, I was scarred for life. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that they are so hard to get rid off, so fast and they multiply faster than the population in my country.

Roaches are just disgusting, period. And NYC rats.

As far as hungry Bevers, I do remember when you and Mala were here, and Mala knew exactly when to leave the premises and have you get something to eat before my own head was severed and perhaps hers too.

Good post Bevs! : )

Elizabeth said...

Hello, NE Bloggers!
Our 1-year anniversary is coming up on Jan 27. To mark the occasion I am going to put up a Mr. Linky on the evening of Monday, January 25. If you'd like to write a post about living in NE, fav places to visit, funny stories and stereotypes, recipes, photos of our gorgeous landscape, anything, it would be great if you would link in. I'd also like a little idea of # of participants, if you could just send me a reply.
Since I don't have emails from everyone, I'm also leaving this message in your comments, sorry for the double-up