Sharing a home with relatives always poses some challenges.
The biggest and most obvious is that people will have to adjust to sharing a home with those who live differently from them.
Difficult as this is to begin with, over time, and perhaps with a fair amount of compromise, everybody can find a way to happily share a roof, in spite of their differences.
In some cases, however, certain members of the household continue to make cohabiting rather difficult to the point of impossible.
Such was the case for Redditor spideracus, whose in-laws recently moved in with him and his wife.
Upon moving in, they emphasized how the original poster (OP)’s home was infested with a very specific, and very dangerous, pest.
After all his efforts to assure them this was not the case proved unsuccessful, the OP found what he thought was a clever way to put their minds at rest.
A method his wife didn’t appreciate one bit.
Worried that he might have been insensitive to his in-laws, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors.
“AITA for putting spider pics all over the house so my in-laws stop calling everything a black widow?”
The OP explained how he felt their was only one way of dealing with his in-law’s fears that they were under attack from a dangerous predator.
“My wife’s parents moved in with us last year.”
“We’d see maybe 2-3 spiders a year and that was it.”
“Now after they’ve moved in, to hear them talk you’d think my house was in the middle of Mirkwood.”
“It all started this past summer when my in-laws came in from my screened-in back porch and went on about seeing a black widow outside the screen.”
“I go out there with jars in hand to put said black widow in my spider relocation program.”
“It was an orb weaver.”
“Two more times during the summer they saw an orb weaver on the porch or in the tool shed and came to get me saying they saw a black widow.”
“My wife started to do the same thing.”
“I told them what a black widow looks like and that they’re rarely, if ever, seen in our area.”
“Now that it’s winter, there have been more spiders on the back porch cause poor things want to be warm too.”
“One or two got into the house.”
“My mil has handed me a bag before and told me to be careful because she saw a black widow jump in it.”
“It was a wolf spider.”
“Last week my fil and wife asked me to get rid of the black widow under the sink.”
“Another wolf spider.”
“I’ve been pretty fed up with all the false calls and dealing with the occasional outdoor spider and them acting like it’s life or death.”
“None of them are arachnophobic, so I printed out two sheets of paper.”
“One had pics of the three most common spiders to see around here, and I put ‘If it looks like this just let it chill’.”
“Do not call Spideracus.'”
“The second sheet I put next to it had a blown-up image of a black widow, and I highlighted features and captioned ‘This is what a black widow looks like–you may proceed to call Spideracus’.”
“I put them all over the back porch, tool shed, and some in the closet and under the sink.”
“My wife was not impressed and took them all down.”
“My wife got mad that I was insulting their intelligence and belittling her parents.”
“I just wanted them to stop getting me for every spider sighting that wasn’t a danger, and since they never listen to descriptions, I tried a different approach.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**Hole for putting pictures of spiders throughout his house, to set his in-laws straight.
Everyone agreed that the OP came up with a funny and clever way of proving that his in-laws were not seeing black widow spiders, and did not feel that he was undermining their intelligence one bit, with some even saying if the OP’s wife was so bothered by this solution, that she should take care of the matter herself.
“NTA. This is also the funniest possible way you could have handled this, OP.”- _beingchildish_
“I think your wife should have left the pictures up if her parents refuse to go educate themselves on what a black widow actually looks like.”- burgermilk333
“NTA but honestly they might be a lost cause.”
“I’m in Texas where every snake is either a cottonmouth or a rattlesnake, and the average yocal won’t be convinced otherwise.”
“Eventually you realize it’s more about the people misidentifying the animal feeling special than it is about genuinely not knowing.”
“If they cared to know they’d ask how to identify spiders the first time you corrected them.”-Talkiesoundbox
“There’s a very simple solution to all of this.”
“Have your wife respond to the spider 911 calls.”
“I give it a week before she puts up the signs herself.”
“Wolf spiders and orb weavers look nothing like black widows.”
“You tried to explain, they did not listen, and continued to call you for every spider they saw, claiming it was deadly.”
“None are arachnophobic, so why do they insist on calling you every time?”
“An education campaign was clearly needed.”- sci_fi_bi
“The Itsy Bitsy Spiders arrived all in your house.”
“In-Laws came too, claimed ‘Black Widows are about’.”
“Up went the pictures, and some info for their brains.”
“And the Itsy Bitsy Spiders caused your In-Laws much disdain.”
“NTA but please print a pic of Natasha Romanoff for good measure.”
“Also A+ for mentioning Mirkwood, that made me laugh.”- paul_rudds_drag_race
“A little d*ckish, maybe, but it’s a good-natured sort of d*ckish so it can slide.”
“Off-topic: I know f*ck all about spiders and live well north of any black widow territory, but how on earth are they mistaking a wolf spider for a black widow?”
“It’s like saying ‘oh look at that bear over there!’ and then pointing at a poodle.”-medium_buffalo_wings
“I personally think it’s hilarious.”
“This wasn’t a reaction to a one-time mistake; they’ve done this 5+ times now.”
“If they don’t want to feel dumb, they can pull out their phones and look up the spider instead of calling you.”- DisgruntledPelican54
“NTA and I personally LOVE this.”- Wishiwashome
“I started laughing at Mirkwood, a Tolkien-admirer.”
“I can imagine how tiring can be always jumping at false alarms.”
“Tell your wife the imagines stay or you will not help to deal with those pesky unharming beings.”-whyamiherepft
“NTA and hilarious.”- Valancystarr
“I think NTA. As someone who likes nature and wildlife and puts a bit of effort into recognizing what’s actually dangerous in my area.”
“I think your solution is hysterical.”
“Too bad your wife doesn’t have either a sense of humor or the ability to tell her parents to calm down about the spiders.”- gavrielkay
“First couple of times ok they were confused, but after that, they are just seeing anything with 8 legs and calling it a black widow.”
“Can you get an adult-sized Spiderman outfit so next time they call you you can leap into action shouting ‘With great power comes great responsibility?”- AggravatingSand8896
“NTA and I love the Tolkien reference of Mirkwood.”
“I also would have accepted the Forbidden Forest, and the town where the Arachnophobia was set.”-True-Tomatillo-4720
“That’s my house and bees.”
“Everything insect with wings is a bee, and I have to explain I even if it was a bee that bees are cool and we let them chill.”
“Wasps let me know, and I’ll kill the sh*t out of its whole family.”- nowaynotnow2011
“This is a funny and ingenious way to express your opinion.”
“People tend to learn best in at least one of three ways:”
“You exhausted number 1, because clearly they weren’t listening.”
“I mean describing something you can see verbally obviously doesn’t compete with showing somebody something so they can see it with their own eyes.”
“You did the correct thing, you showed them, so they know what It actually looks like, and what it does not look like.”
“The fact that your wife assumed that you are insulting their intelligence kinda shows that she thinks their intelligence is lacking.”
“Otherwise she wouldn’t have mentioned it.”
“Your wife needs to lighten up, and her parents ironically need to grow up.”
“Case closed, you’re not the a-hole AT ALL.”
“P.S. You could have potentially handed the photo’s to the in-laws directly, and said: ‘Here, this is what is and is not a black widow, I will leave them up by the fridge in case you are unsure next time you see a spider’.”
“That would be a gentler approach, but I think subtly leaving them around the house is funnier.”-Complx_Redditor
No one likes to be told they’re wrong.
However, seeing as the OP’s in-laws likely weren’t going to accept what he was telling them, the visual proof seemed almost literally the only way to get it through their brains.
At least, one hopes this solves the problem.