For some reason, no matter their origins or current residence, I would have to say that every person I’ve ever encountered had some degree of fear or intolerance towards bugs, myself included. Is it because of their destructive habits of eating the food we arbitrarily claim as “ours,” or the way they are demonized in modern households as invaders, nothing but a potentially disease-ridden nuisance to exterminate? Does it have anything to do with the fact that as a population, none of them seems to have exactly happened upon the luck of looking attractive? Many such explanations could be employed by the fearful human trying to cover their sorry asses, but if that’s all there was to it, then why don’t we try to poison or stomp all over the irritating house guests who have long overstayed their welcome? I couldn’t even begin to explain my own reactions, but at the very least, my formerly exaggerated negative response has become much more tame over the years.
Still pink in the cheeks and entering the new world of elementary school, I was terrified by bees. Spiders came in at #2 on my list of phobias, and then absolutely everything else that crawled around in the dirt (Besides those appalling little 1st grade children) followed in no particular order. It really didn’t matter if it had wings, more legs than I felt necessary, extra eyes, or not; Every tiny terror was equally petrifying. If the aforementioned creatures ever had the misfortune of crossing paths with me, I’m sure they would have been many times more scared than I. Screaming, bawling, going through various stages of histrionics, it was not a pretty sight. Even to this day I find myself unable to explain such extreme behavior, as phobias by definition are almost always completely irrational.
Without understanding exactly why, it would seem as though we as a nation are collectively phobic of this same portion of the animal kingdom to a certain degree. Absurd as I’m sure I looked, flailing my limbs as though my whole body had been doused in gasoline and set afire, no one considered this to be so unusual. The blind leading the blind this way, I still have a few qualms with uninvited vistors of the arthropod-variety. Truth be told, the mere appearance of lady bugs used to be enough to send me into panic attacks even well into my middle school years.
Thankfully, I’ve gained enough insight to see how entirely harmless most of these formerly threatening insects truly are. Lady bugs are especially benevolent in my eyes, ever since I learned that in some cultures they are actually considered a sign of good luck. Who could chase a bearer of luck out onto the porch, much less greet them with a cold boot in the face? Considering all the unbelievably fortunate events happening in my life, I hardly feel as though I deserved a visit from this little lady, but was happy to leave the window for her free passage all the same.
The first bug to be found indoors this season thus far, I can only hope that this is a positive indication of things to come. The days will only grow warmer, inviting different creepy-crawlies to come out of hiding and perhaps investigate new areas, such as the curious buildings and houses that seem to be found just about everywhere, so I certainly am grateful that this kind beetle was the opening act. Easing into spring and summer makes it much easier to calmly see the scarier creatures on their way later on – But really, they don’t even need help most of the time. Left to their own devices, most continue on their way in little time to make the most of their short lives. Why would they want to stick around and torment you when they only have so many days to go through adolescence, marriage, middle age, and retirement all in a flash?