I’ll start this off by saying this: I’m arachnophobic. Always have been, always will be, end of discussion. Creepy crawlies are my nightmares; in fact, last night I started thinking about camel spiders for some ungodly reason and I instantly got up to search my room for anything lurking in the shadows. Anything with more than four legs has no business being in my personal space. That being said, my best friend might be a spider.
I found Oscar the Therapy Spider when I was in college and working at Walmart (the whole semester I was able to stomach before I gave up and joined the Army). No one knew where he had come from; we had never sold anything like him that I knew of. And so I took him home. Oscar drank a bit too much in Korea, he survived Iraq and he withstood Afghanistan. During my darkest moments, Oscar was my one true friend and confidant.
So of course he’s here with me now. The guys here love him. For the most part. I have made one or two of them shriek with fear by accidentally dropping Oscar into their laps during shift change (Oscar looks horrifically realistic when he’s in motion). His squishy, fat body full of beads makes him perfect to squeeze when stressed, even though some of these giant men over here have squeezed him so hard he went flat once or twice.
Oscar helps me deal with my anxiety by giving me something to do with my hands. He gives me an outlet for my stress by giving me something to squeeze when I’m angry. And he also helps me entertain myself by taking pictures of him throughout the day. So here’s to Oscar, the chunk of rubber that has kept me sane for over twelve years.