For the record, I'm really not the squeamish type. I've held many an amphibian in my time; I don't have to look away when they cut people open and shit on 'House'; I didn't even throw up during 'Closer.' But there are a few things that I just cannot handle, that make me completely devoid of all reason. Spiders are one of those things. (Also heights and Jude Law.) True story: My brother asked me if my fear of spiders stems from my love of Ron Weasley, who shares that same phobia. (It does not, although that is just another reason Ron and I would be perfect for each other. You know, if he wasn't with Hermione. And fictional.) I don't know how my mother managed to coax me past the Big-Ass Spider into the house, at which point she insisted we leave it alone. Mom: "It's not like it's a Black Widow or anything." Me: "It could be." *Closer inspection of the Big-Ass (black) Spider* Mom: "Huh. It actually might be." YES IT WAS. THERE WAS A BLACK WIDOW SPIDER IN OUR DOORWAY AND I'M SORRY FOR THE CAPS LOCK BUT DO YOU UNDERSTAND IT WAS A BLACK FUCKING WIDOW?! THEY ARE DEADLY. JUST FYI.
Needless to say, I was a little (extremely) panicked, whereas my mother was morbidly fascinated with the Big-Ass Spider. She was all, "Oh, he's beautiful, we can't kill him," making it seem like I was crazy for being paralyzed with fear. EXCUSE ME. It is not irrational to be afraid of something that can KILL YOU. (In fact, I'm pretty sure that's the biological purpose of fear, so suck it.) Anything deadly enough to have a comic book character named after it is definitely okay to be scared of. (Except maybe Ant-Man, but that's not the point.) Especially when said comic book character wears black leather and is played by Scarlett Johansson in the upcoming 'Iron Man 2.'
While Mom mocked my (completely justified) fear, I stood a good distance away and refused to break eye contact with the Big-Ass Spider. (Obviously if I looked away he would sneak away to hide under my sheets and kill me in my sleep.) Mom volunteered to capture the Big-Ass Spider in a glass. I thought this was pretty much the second stupidest idea ever, but she insisted on letting it live and I insisted on letting us live, so that seemed like the only option. Upon attempting to capture the Big-Ass Spider, Mom learned something new about Black Widows: They're fast! (Duh.) She seemed oddly surprised by this fact, as if she expected one of the deadliest spiders in North America to be slow. Eventually, though, Mom managed to trap it in a glass and proceeded to examine it with a flashlight. Black spider with a red hourglass: Survey says... Black Widow. CUE PANIC. (Yours, not mine. I was already panicking. But I hope you can appreciate the gravity of the situation now.)
Mom wanted to release it in our neighbors yard (apparently she has something against the woman next door), but I insisted we walk a safe distance (five miles) from the house before setting the beast free. I voted we throw the glass down on the ground and run away, but Mom seemed pretty determined to keep the glass. (Priorities, woman!) Of course, the Big-Ass Spider had built an extensive web in it by this point and did not wish to leave it, but Mom persuaded it to vacate its new home by shaking it incessantly. (Great plan, make the Big-Ass Spider angry before releasing it.) But TA DAH! We're both still alive, so mission accomplished. And after that initial encounter, Mom only had to capture and release three more insects from the house! And that's the story of how my mother got her new nickname: Liberator of Creepy-Crawlies.