A former student sent me a message today. I had a feeling I shouldn’t open it because he’s known to send those stupid memes that end with a scary face jumping out at you. I don’t think those things are funny. I’ve told him this more than once, but there’s something about scaring other people that seems to hold an appeal for some.
I have arachnophobia. I have this to the point where if I see a spider, I will run screaming from the room before I realize I’m gone. I then shake uncontrollably and normally cry for several minutes. I think this started when I was a little kid, I have a vague memory of my oldest sister putting a spider on me and then calling me a baby when I screamed.
I guess this sort of thing was always considered funny.
So in spite of my gut feeling, I opened the message. Two young boys, sitting in front of a cabinet, slowly opened the drawer and out jumped a huge spider. Realistic enough that it seemed to be jumping at me, and my phone flew across the car seat, landing face down, as I screamed and then began to cry. In my car. At the park.
He knows I have arachnophobia and he knows it’s bad. When I calmed down, several minutes later, while praying that this image wouldn’t haunt me all day (and yes, that sometimes happens), I messaged him. In caps. If he ever sent me anything with a spider again, I would unfriend him and never speak to him again. His response – “hahaha, I just had to.” My response was not fit for virgin ears but since I know y’all don’t fit that description, it was “no, m*****f****r, you did NOT HAVE TO.”
Then he was sorry. I said not to apologize, just don’t ever do this shit again.
All of this got me thinking. Why do people think it’s funny to scare people? Do they like it when they’re on the other end of it? I have a happy, everyone loves me, puppy, who thinks that every person – almost – in the world has been placed there simply to pet him. I, however, know that there is the odd person who fears dogs. (One of my sisters is one of them) (She won’t admit it but she is) So if someone doesn’t appear to want to pet him, I ask if they would like to, and if they say no, I walk him away. We’re all afraid of something,
I could say it’s just boys being boys but I’ve had women do this to me, as well. Grown women, who should know better, cackling with laughter when I threw something across the room because they had hidden a rubber spider inside.
These are not people who don’t know about my fear. I just don’t get it.
And if anyone posts a picture of a spider in the comments, you will immediately and irrevocably be banned. Momma ain’t playing here.