A couple of weeks ago, during my afternoon kid-minding, I picked the boy up from school and when we got out of the car, he suddenly jumped back. Apparently, he thought he saw a hornet. Naturally, I teased the boy a little bit because, dude, you jumped and squealed over a bug.
And then I got to thinking.
I’m the only person I know that doesn’t have one bug that causes me to freak out. None. They might startle me if they appear suddenly, but even that is a mild start and I certainly don’t squeal. I like some bugs better than others. I’m uncomfortable with the number of legs a centipede and millipede have, but never has one had me fleeing the room. I’m allergic to bees and hornets and wasps, but I’ve never flailed in their presence. Even June bugs, my least favorite bug for its habit of flying into my forehead like a drunk kamikaze pilot, don’t warrant much more than annoyance.
The number one feared bug, spiders, do nothing for me. I once had one living on my computer monitor for a year. I named him Douglas and often bitched at him to get out of the way when he’d decided to descend on a string and swing in front of the screen. Even getting bitten in the face by a spider didn’t cause me to turn on them.
I guess the whole bug fear thing baffles me because I can’t relate to it. I don’t get being afraid of something so much smaller than you. I can understand being wary of some bugs. Some spiders have really nasty venom and some bugs can be a bad sign for your house-life (hello, roaches and ants). I can understand not liking them. I’ll be the first to admit, they’re hard to like.
But I can’t relate to being afraid of them.
It actually makes me feel pretty weird. Like there’s a part of my brain not properly functioning. If everyone else is afraid, shouldn’t I be afraid, too? Why am I not afraid? What’s wrong with me? Am I broken?
And then I realized that no, I’m not broken. I’m part of a rare breed. I’m one of the un-afraids, whose responsibility in life is to protect those who are afraid. It is our job to rid the bugs from the presence of those afraid of them in order to keep the delicate peace and balance of the eco-system.
Also to tease those afraid of the bugs with the bugs, but that’s only a side-job to be done sparingly.
So, yeah, it’s a little weird that I’m not afraid of bugs, but at least it serves a purpose.