We’ve all known someone with some kind of phobia, and whether or not we understand it ourselves, most of us try to be fairly accommodating.
But sometimes in a moment of panic, the person with the phobia might demand too much protection, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole? (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor CreepyCassowary was surprised at a friend’s girlfriend’s reaction to an Australian Huntsman spider that was currently frequenting her home.
When the girlfriend began demanding they kill the Huntsman, the Original Poster (OP) felt even more perplexed.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to kill a spider for a house guest?”
The OP was comfortable with the Huntsman spider in her living room.
“I (26 Female) live in Sydney, where huntsman spiders are our common house spider. I’ve had one (who I’ve named Simon) in my living room in the ceiling corner for about 2 weeks now.”
“He’s hard to reach for me to trap and put outside, and honestly, he doesn’t bother me. He can chill there for as long as he wants so long as he keeps eating smaller bugs and so long as I can see him.”
“As far as huntsmen go, Simon is small-to-average size. Still big, but not as huge as what I’m sure you would see when you Google!”
The OP warned visitors about Simon before they came in.
“A couple of weeks ago I had a friend Ben (26 Male) and his girlfriend Shay (26 Female) stay over for a couple of nights. He lives in Melbourne, she’s from Wales and has only moved here recently.”
“They’re traveling around Australia and Ben asked if they could stay at my place in Sydney as a favor. I was happy to do so!”
“But I did warn him that there was a huntsman in my living room since I know foreigners can freak out about them.”
Shay did not react well to Simon.
“Anyway, Shay and Ben got here and we were all having dinner/watching tv, etc when Shay notices Simon chilling in the corner.”
“She freaked out and said I needed to kill it.”
“I said no, I’m not comfortable killing spiders and he’s not hurting you.”
“Apparently Ben hadn’t specified how big huntsman spiders are and Shay didn’t know. Shay kept telling us we needed to kill it.”
“I said I didn’t want to, huntsmen are harmless and timid and they actually eat mosquitoes and other bugs you would rather not have in here.”
“I asked if she had a phobia of spiders. She said no, spiders are fine, but having one inside the house is f**ked up.”
“I got kind of mad at that because I’m doing her a favor letting her stay for free, cooking for her, etc, and she’s calling me f**ked up for not killing a harmless creature.”
“I said, ‘I doubt he’s the only spider, he’s just the only one you can see.'”
“This p**sed her off even more (which I obviously understand so I get I may be the a**hole for that).”
The OP and Simon had to part ways.
“In the end, Ben and I ended up getting a step ladder, trapping Simon, and putting him outside (she was not happy with this either and said that I should have killed it after putting it outside).”
“She basically called me an a**hole and gave me dirties (dirty looks) the rest of the night.”
“They ended up leaving a day early to stay in a ‘clean hotel’ (her words).”
“This again rubbed me the wrong way because my house is clean, it just had a spider in it (ones that clean by eating bugs and not making webs!).”
“Reddit, do you think I’m the a**hole here?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some were sad on Simon the Spider’s behalf.
“Why am I picturing a spider with a bowtie and a cup of tea sitting on your wall casually reading the paper? Simon sounds like an excellent roommate.”
“NTA. I’m sorry you had to remove Simon. I get being freaked out by spiders. But it’s your house and you were being a good friend by letting them stay.”
“She could have just said, ‘I’m freaked out by spiders. I can’t stay here.’ But her reaction. Yikes stripes. I hope your buddy comes back.” – throwawayyy9867
“NTA. Don’t invite them over again. I’m glad she was too afraid to kill poor Simon, but he didn’t need to be evicted either. People suck.” – Catfiche1970
“At first I was going to say NAH, because I’m terrified of spiders (I still don’t kill them, though), but then I saw that you did remove Simon from the house and she was way over the top.”
“There’s no sense saying having a spider in the house makes it dirty because even I know every d**n house has spiders somewhere.”
“Definitely, NTA. I only hope Simon can forgive you and is willing to move back in to help clean.” – seventaters
“NTA. I have a spider phobia (I’m working on it) and wouldn’t have stayed there after you’d told me about Simon.”
“She didn’t care enough to look up what the spider was after an Australian of all people gave her a warning it was there. When an Australian speaks about spiders, I listen. That’s on her.”
“Also, Simon sounds cute, I’m glad you didn’t hurt him/her.” – better_IRL_I_swear
Others said, unlike Shay, they would have been polite, but they wouldn’t have visited.
“I hate spiders, and if you told me you had a huntsman spider in your home, I definitely would have stayed in a hotel room on the 20th floor to ensure that I wouldn’t have to interact with any spiders myself.”
“I would not have yelled and cursed and demanded that you kill a spider in your own home.”
“NTA.” – MindDeep2823
“I just looked up huntsman spiders… and holy s**t. You Australians are built different. If I discovered one of those in my room, I’d take Golem’s advice and ‘leave now and never come back.'”
“Having said that, I think NAH. I can understand how freaked out your friend’s girlfriend must have been. But you did warn them and it’s your house…” – dwaynegretysky
“I’m terrified of spiders as well and I have a vague memory of what a huntsman spider looks like and yeahhh, NOPE.”
“If my friend told me, ‘Hey, you’re free to crash with me, but FYI, I have a huntsman that’s been chilling in my living room,’ I would politely thank them for offering but let them know I’d be booking a hotel instead because I just… can’t…”
“But I also wouldn’t expect them to get rid of the spider from their own home since they’re obviously cool with having it around.” – ertrinken
“I’m an arachnophobe. The bigger they are, the more I’m freaked out. Without googling it because no thanks, that sounds like the kind of spider that would make me pee my pants and run like f**king h**l.”
“If ‘as big as dinner plates’ is not an exaggeration, I definitely understand her freaking out more upon seeing it, than hearing the warning.”
“You can’t then be angry if she needs to leave, as long as she does so without being rude. Like, ‘Dear god, I’m sorry, but I am terrified of those and that is outrageously large and I cannot stay here. I hope you don’t take it personally.'”
“Shay was warned. She was rude about it. And above all, it’s your house. And while this makes me never ever in my life want to visit Australia, I’m glad for you that you didn’t kill Simon. NTA.” – MadamMarshmallows
“I am afraid of spiders too and if I am going to stay in a place and the owner goes out of the way to tell me there is a spider and tells me the type of spider also, I would be googling asap.”
“She didn’t care to check and then basically was demanding she kill what was almost a house pet.”
“My mom likes spiders and she always lets them be if they are not in an annoying place. She even gives them names sometimes. She doesn’t touch them but finds them cute, kinda live and let live.”
“This Simon sounds like that, they are not fully-fledged house pets but they are kinda pets.”
“Also what you said is true. There are tons of spiders all over, precisely that is why I would be checking Google if someone got out of the way to tell me of a specific spider.”
“And spiders are pets too. She is the one messed up for suggesting you are wrong on having a living spider in your house.”
“Just looking at huntsman pictures gave me the creeps and I honestly don’t know if I would be able to sleep if I saw one of them in my house. But as I understand Simon wasn’t on top of her bed. I would just have tried to sleep.”
“I just think is wrong to demand someone to kill another living being just ‘because,’ I wish I could feel more relaxed around spiders like you do.”
“You are comfortable living with Simon, why should she demand you kill Simon because it annoys her. Imagine if you had to ask her BF to kill her because she annoys you.”
“You are NTA. She is, however.” – SkyLightk23
While the OP was taken aback by Shay’s insistence to harm the spider, the subReddit said she had done the right thing by warning her visitors about her long-term subletter.
Rather, the onus was on Shay, who could have researched the spider and decided whether or not that would be a comfortable space for her to visit. If it wasn’t, the subReddit also pointed out there were far more polite ways she could have responded to the OP.