I’ve been afraid of spiders for as long as I can remember. Not tarantulas though, they’re more like an eight-legged furry rodent. And I don’t mind rodents. Although I do believe that rats make lousy house pets. Anyway… back to spiders. To help calm myself when faced with a spider, I pretend that the spider is Charlotte. (“Charlotte’s Web” was, and still is, a favorite book of mine; it’s truly one of the best stories. Anyone agree?) So when I see a spider in near proximity, my first reaction is “GAAAAAAAH!” but then I remember my favorite book and I’m like, “hi Charlotte!” while moving slowly away from the little beast. It also keeps me from killing spiders. Even the ones with fangs that I find in my bathtub. I could never kill Charlotte.

Since I began writing this story a few days ago for my email subscribers, this little guy has been living in my sink.

Since I began writing this story a few days ago for my email subscribers, this little guy has been living in my sink.

When I was in high school I had a pet gecko and it required live crickets for sustenance. The pet store sold crickets by the dozen and served them in a to-go chinese food container. My fear of crickets began when I realized that fetching one cricket out of a little box with a puzzle-like lid filled with eleven other crickets was an impossible feat. They are jumpers. Not to mention I didn’t want to touch them so I’d go in with a spoon hoping one would happily volunteer to be gecko lunch and hop on board the silver ship. 

Eventually I decided that the best way to transfer crickets to gecko cage without crickets nor gecko escaping was to open each of their containments as little as possible and dump, hoping that only a couple would go in and not all twelve. 

Needless to say, eventually critters escaped, including the lizard. I found him (her?) a few days later basking in the sun on a window sill. And for months I would fall asleep to the sound of rogue crickets chirping from somewhere in my bedroom. As a way to avoid night terrors, I named them all Jiminy.

Why am I talking about storybook characters? Two reasons. 

First, it speaks to the power of perception. Changing how we see things changes how we see things. My blog “Trash Talk” is about this powerful and useful phenomenon.

Second, I’m going to let you in on a secret. But not yet...

To hear the rest of the story, and the secret, and maybe a third secret secret, sign up for my email newsletters here and scroll to the bottom of the page.