Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Spider Won't Bite Me

I just watched a video clip with a Steve Irwin-type person. He held a funnel web spider in his hand, and then he held some dangerous caterpillars. The clip was from a 1956 Aussie documentary called Northern Safari.

I have to wonder why someone would touch a spider like that. What's going through their heads? Do they believe they're, for some reason, excluded from danger and harm?

In some cases, it could be a matter of ignorance. I've held caterpillars in my hand before. I never imagined that those things would cause harm. I thought the worse that could happen is they might poop on me. Later, I read that caterpillars can sting or bite. Ouch.

In Australia, I tried to save a caterpillar from ants. There was a little voice in me saying maybe I shouldn't monkey with an Australian creature like that. But then I thought. No, not caterpillars. I know they have scary ticks, spiders, and even a venomous mammal. But a caterpillar? No, that should be fine.

I don't want to become paranoid about interacting with nature. I like picking up bugs; rescuing them from the pool, letting them crawl on my hand, showing them to Jack....Most creatures are probably safe.

On the other hand, I wouldn't pick up a bumble bee, play with it, and expect that it wouldn't sting me. There IS a chance that I wouldn't get stung. Yeah. But I don't think it's smart to put too much faith in that chance.

This morning, around 4:30, our security alarm went off. It's not a nice noise to wake up to, and it's really not nice to wake up that early in the morning. I might as well have gone to milk some cows. But I don't have any lost cause there.

Tim rushed angrily out of bed and to the alarm panel to turn it off.

I was kind of thinking....uh, shouldn't we at least consider the fact that the alarm MIGHT be going off for a reason?

I don't know. Burglar? Axe Murderer? Alien invasion? A time traveling Desmond Hume?

I went to look at another panel. It said fire alarm.

To me, that was a bit alarming (ah, fun pun there!) If you're cooking pizza during the day, there's smoke in the kitchen, and the alarm goes's easy to assume it's just a false alarm. But when your alarm goes off in the wee hours of the morning....

Well, it made me a little worried.

A part of me felt I should grab Jack and run outside in our pajamas. I didn't see any immediate danger though. I told Tim I was going to go check upstairs. Maybe a fire started in the attic or something.

I went up, and didn't see anything.

Still. I figured we should still be SOMEWHAT cautious. Maybe consider calling the fire department?

I ended up taking Jack outside. We sat outside and looked at the stars. I think I might have actually seen the big and little dipper. So that's kind of cool.

Tim meanwhile was working hard and frantically to get the alarm off. In fact, he's still working to fix the thing. Poor guy.

He seemed extremely annoyed with my suggestions that we should have some safety concerns. To his defense, our alarm system has displayed a low-warning battery thing. So we could say he knew/assumed that it was a false alarm.

To his not-defense, once the alarm went off when he was away. I was terrified and said yes PLEASE when the alarm people offered to send the police. Later I told Tim about it. He didn't say anything sweet like Oh, that must have been scary. I'm glad you're okay. Instead he said, Why did you have the police come?

Uh...why do we even have an alarm system if we're not supposed to have the police ever come?

I was a pathetic chicken and locked Jack and I in the bedroom so the bogeyman couldn't get us. I suppose I was supposed to search the house myself, or just turn off the alarm, shrug my shoulders, and go back to sleep.

And Tim was right. There had been no break in that night.

There was no fire last night.

Maybe I was stupid to think there could be a fire we can't see/smell yet. When I argued with Tim, he said we would have smelled something. I don't know much about fires, so maybe he's totally right. I just thought that since our house is big, there might be a fire far away from the bedroom that we can't immediately notice. I also worried that maybe the alarm system also deals with carbon monoxide poisoning. I brought that up to Tim, and he said it's not. I hope he's right!

It would probably be silly to hear an alarm, without any evidence of a fire, and rush outside in our pajamas. But I'm not sure I like Tim's mindset of immediately assuming nothing is wrong. I think it would have been best to do a quick run through of the house to make sure there's no fire; then turn off the alarm.

Tim and I are kind of on opposite extremes. I'm a worrier. He seems to have faith that bad things won't happen to us. Maybe combined....together....we make a good team. Or maybe we'll end up driving each other nuts.

There are those people who say things like I promise I won't let anything happen to you. OR Don't you trust me? Do you think I'd let anything bad happen to you?

I often wonder how they can assume they can keep their loved ones safe? Are they that strong and powerful?

If Dumbeldore said it to me, I might believe it. Otherwise, I'm a bit skeptical.

When we were in Australia, we saw this documentary about disasters. They talked about plane crashes, club fires, the big awful Tsunami, and other stuff. There was this story where this little girl saw the water acting weird on the beach, and mentioned it to her family. If I remember correctly, because of her, some people were saved.

I said to Tim (or maybe I just thought it to myself) that if, as a child, I mentioned such danger to my family, they'd likely laugh and not take me seriously. Most of my family members would probably be taking pictures and videos of the "cool" phenomena. I'd likely to be told You're being being too dramatic. You're overreacting.

Well, they say people often marry people who remind you of your parents. There you go!

If I remember correctly, the documentary said that many people in these disasters end up dying because they did NOT believe there was any danger. OR they believe there's no way to escape the danger, so why even try?

It's quite fortunate that Tim ended up being right today. Our house is fine. It didn't explode or implode. We haven't dropped dead (so far) of carbon monoxide poisoning. We're all doing great....just a wee bit tired.

Still though. There's no guarantee that Tim is always going to be right about such things. One day, we might really BE in danger. If it was just my life in peril, I'd let myself die so folks could feel guilty about not taking me seriously. But since Jack is in the equation, I'm going to be a paranoid over-dramatic coward. Or, as I said to a new friend....we could call it vigilant.

P.S-My friend posted a link to this article on Facebook. It brought a tear to my eye. It's beautiful and helps to restore my faith in humanity.