When you share your life with someone as long as Tony and I have, you come to learn a lot of fun facts about a person.

For instance, Tony has serious night terrors (I’ve learned to sleep facing away from him after that last serious karate chop to the gut).  He also has a serious addiction to trying any new flavor or new drink at the gas station (acai grapefruit pomegranate tea anyone?).  Before I take one bite of food, he’ll have devoured his (we call it eating like a duck, because I am pretty sure he might not chew).

Aside from these fun facts, he’s a pretty normal, red blooded male.  He likes video games, in case you haven’t deduced that by now.  He doesn’t ‘get’ my shoe collection.  And he gets a kick out of anything creepy and crawly.

I was reading a post over at I Has Good Grammar about spiders and it reminded me of living with Tony down in Florida.

Let me start off by saying: Florida has a lot of bugs.  As if crocodiles, tourists and snowbirds weren’t bad enough, add in creatures of the eight-legged variety and you have a state that should probably just break-off into the ocean already.  Just leave the rest of us to peace with our animals of the fuzzy variety, ok?


I kid you not, this is a photo of a spider on our Florida front porch. Cootchie, cootchie coo, little buddy.

So when we lived down there, we often heard stories of people we knew getting bit by the poisonous Brown Recluse.  We even saw scars and chunks taken out of people’s arms to prove it.  Ew is right.

Every night I dutifully checked my bed sheets and when I opened any pair of pants that were folded for awhile, I always made sure to shake them out.  I was overly cautious.  Not like my personality, right?  Guys?

Little did I know, my husband, or boyfriend at the time, was breeding a spider farm out in our garage.  You don’t even want to know how NOT kidding I am.

Tony liked to save those tall, cylindrical POM tea glasses (did I not tell you how much he loves the weird juices and teas from the gas station?).  I’d find them all over our home, housing art markers, coins, food, you name it.  I started throwing them out when he wasn’t looking because I got tired of how horribly they fit in the dishwasher.  We will keep this between us, though, ok?  He’s still wondering where they all went.

One day he caught a spider and decided to put it in the glass jar.  Don’t ask me why.  Boys will be boys.

After about a day, he went all Don King and decided to catch other spiders to hold “Spider Death Matches” in the garage.  I know.  This took a turn for the weird, didn’t it?

He started catching numerous spiders, keeping them in jars, and then staging spider battles.  His original spider was apparently the one to beat, and started to grow really big with each new spider he’d eat in his “ring.”  At one point I started to wonder if Tony might actually care for this spider when he came running into the house announcing the “Spider Death Match” was to begin in 10 minutes in the garage.  In case you were wondering, his eyes looked a little wild, too.

I put my foot down when he asked if he could bring his prizefighter into the house.  I’ve seen Arachnophobia enough times to know that spiders in glass jars at night are never in the glass jars in the morning.  Houdini spiders.

When we came home to visit Wisconsin for a month in the winter, he even asked a friend down south to watch his spider.  Spider-sitting: easier than babysitting, but more dangerous.

In the end, the warrier spider passed away and went up to that big cage-match in the sky.  To this day, Tony still talks fondly about his spider wars.  The gleam in his eye scares me a bit.

But this is why I love this man.  Because he’s quirky and creative and makes me laugh like nobody else.  But from now on, any spiders in the house are being caught and released.  Our promotional days of selling tickets to spider death matches in the garage arena are over.