Spiders are damn scary. This is a fact. Arachnophobia plagues something like 55 percent of Western women. I am one of them. Miss Muffet, girlfriend, I feel you. If that hairy long-legged insect sat down beside me, I'd make a mess of my curds and whey, too. So, imagine my own surprise, when I decided that I need to push myself outside of my comfort zone and hold in my sweet little fair hands, the mother of all arachnids -- the hairy and large TARANTULA.

I decided this over a year ago, when I was doing a challenge a week on this blog. That is in fact how this blog began. In an effort to keep myself socially relevant in the adult realm, while my days were mostly spent wiping butts and talking about dinosaurs, I would push myself out of my comfort zone once a week, and then share it here. So, while compiling a list (a list that did not include "carry and give birth to twins"), I flippantly added "hold a tarantula." See, you have to know, when I made these lists of potential challenges, I would consciously add things that I knew I would never do, just to make the list look really really long and then I would choose from the most palatable on that list. I was sure that a) I would never have the chance to hold a tarantula and b) chicken out if I ever found myself in that position anyway. The aforementioned twin pregnancy and birth was ultimately what forced my blogging into a hiatus, and I returned six months following the birth of the Twinstroms to do... whatever I'm doing here now.

Remember how I said that I knew I'd never have the chance to hold a tarantula? Well, that changed the other day when my friend Liz and I were at a Social Science event at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Wandering around we happened upon Bruce the Bug Guy. I leaned in close to Liz and whispered, "when I used to blog about challenges, I had 'hold a tarantula' on my list." The second it left my lips, I knew I should have locked those loose things up for once in my life. "Well, I think you need to hold that thing," Liz said with that evil smirk of a friend who holds you accountable when you really just want her to laugh it off and say, "that's ridiculous, let's go get a glass of wine." Liz is good like that.

So, I let Bruce the Bug Guy put that frightening little creature right in the palm of my hand. Then, I let Liz take a picture. Here's the first shot:

We learn two things from this picture. 1) I was about to crap my slacks and 2) When I am very frightened, I show all my chins.

Then, here's what happened next. Liz, while a good friend, is also sneaky. She realized that she had not turned on her flash, and proceeded to spend the next 8-10 hours* trying to turn the flash on.

(*time approximate)

Here is the real shot:

So, I held a tarantula and lived to tell. Guess what, I don't ever want to do that again. Never. It was easily a sensation worse than dragging my freshly manicured fingernails down a chalkboard. Don't do it. Just don't. If someone asks you if you've ever done it, just say, "no, but a read a blog once about a woman who did." If you find yourself playing Six Degrees of Tarantula, that should satisfy. Just go with me on this.


  1. Wow. I will most definitely trust you on that one. I'm really glad I read this post or I would not have an excuse next time someone asks me to hold a tarantula. That was a close call!

  2. I love the "Six Degrees" idea. But I'd be one to overuse it. I think I'll have to set a personal rule to use it only once. Maybe it'll be for Tarantulas, maybe something else.

  3. ...i would have puked/screamed....simultaneously.

  4. Bravo, Colleen. You couldn't pay me enough!

  5. Ok - I read the blog and looked at the pictures (very briefly). Thank you for holding one, so that I will NEVER have to do that!!!

  6. I am proud of you. Now neither of us ever have to do it again. :)

  7. I like your idea of making a list of challenges and blogging about them--encourages others to make adventures out of the safe suburban life. I might have to flatter/copy you and try that on my blog--very motivational.

  8. LOL! I just came across this post when I Googled "where can I hold a tarantula?" It's something that I'm terrified of but (like you) I flippantly added it to my list of "things I need to do" to prove that I can do it. Your post cracked me up!! I still think I'm going to do it. And I'm going to check out the rest of your blog too! Thanks for the laugh!


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