I know it’s entirely stupid, but I am terrified of spiders. I mean, properly terrified. Just seeing pictures of them makes me nervous. I’m even scared of them when they’re already dead. Yes, yes, I’m a million times bigger than they are. Yes, yes, they’re more scared of me, etc. But the thing about irrational phobias is that they’re irrational! So just trust me when I say I am properly. terrified. of spiders.
Keeping that in mind, you can imagine how pleased I was to see a very large huntsman appear on the dash in front of me one evening while I was driving home. Luckily, I had just stopped at a set of traffic lights and so I was able to drive through the intersection (when the light turned green, of course) and pull over onto the big grassy median strip. And by “pull over”, I mean “run off the road while screaming loudly”.
However, I was too scared to reach into the car and get my phone out to call someone for help, and there was no chance I was getting back in the car with a giant spider on the loose, so after I calmed myself down a little, and realised I’d be stuck there all night if I didn’t do something, I flagged down a passing car and asked for help.
I was fortunate that the car that stopped to help me was a family, who only laughed at me in a friendly way, and who agreed to help. I only asked for one of them to reach into my car and pass me my phone so that I could call my husband or a friend, but they pulled over and went way beyond anything I had expected. Five of them thoroughly searched my car, using their phones as torches in the dark, shaking out my coat, poking around under the seats, checking the glove box. They were friendly and didn’t once try to make me feel stupid (I was already doing a pretty good job of that myself anyway) or act like I was a nuisance. The spider was nowhere to be found, and eventually they had to carry on with their trip, but not until after they had tried to reassure me that it was gone and ask if I’d be ok to get home.
I thanked them at the time but I really wish I could have done more to express how genuinely grateful I was. I know it was “only a spider”, but it was a pretty big deal to me. To have not just one person but five of them take me seriously and genuinely try to help was such a huge thing. They were so kind.
I want to publicly thank all of them and remind everyone else that there are people out there who will put themselves out to offer help to a stranger, for no reason other than that she looks scared.
So to the woman, two men, and two teenage boys who stopped to help the freaked out lady in a white Corolla on the Barton Highway the other night, you have my deepest, most sincere thanks. You did a lovely thing and made a big difference to my day. Thank you.