One of the joys of blogging is discovering the weird side of the Internet—the fun weird side, not the dark, inappropriate weird side. Today’s post is a trip down one of those byways of oddity.
But before I knew I was correct, I naturally sought answers on the Internet. As is the wont of Internet surfing, I quickly found myself down a tarantula rabbit hole (I suppose I should just write “a tarantula hole,” since they dig them prodigiously).
My sojourn led me to the website Tarantula Heaven, which is surely an oxymoron, as any heaven full of gigantic, woolly spiders is probably closer to hell. If you’re looking for whimsical video and blog posts filled with advice about caring for these curious critters, though, it’s an arachnitopia.
Every Tuesday, the toothsome proprietor of the website, Patricia, puts out a “Tarantula Tuesday” video via her YouTube page (to which I am now subscribed, in part out of intellectual curiosity, in part out of curiosity in Patricia). Most of these deal with the caring for tarantulas, such as dealing with the dreaded nematodes, but she also delves into the peculiar personalities and quirks of tarantulas.
Such was the topic of this Tuesday’s edition of “Tarantula Tuesday,” which explored tarantulas’ fastidious housekeeping and decorating activities. Per Patricia, the tarantulas are “Masters of the Art of Hygge“:
Readers may recall my post “The Joy of Autumn,” in which I discussed the Danish concept of hygge (which I have apparently been mispronouncing in my head—another kudos to Patricia for correcting me in her winsome manner). Z Man also write about the idea, in a post whose title I realize I likely ripped off when writing my own ode to autumnal coziness.
According to Patricia, tarantulas are borderline obsessive-compulsive about their living spaces, as they’re constantly moving around dirt, toys (Patricia mentions a Ping Pong ball—that I’ve gotta see), webbing, etc. If she introduces a new piece of decoration into their tanks or cleans them, it puts the spiders into a tizzy.
She also notes that “tarantulas love being in their homes.” There’s a good bit of anthropomorphizing in this video, but it certainly makes these active arachnids more relatable. I’m not the tidiest housekeeper, but I surely do love time burrowed away in my country bungalow, busying myself with rearranging sloppy stacks of books and papers (often instead of doing real work). My desk, for example, has a very precise sequence of stacked remotes, mobile video game consoles, and pens, small books, and receipts.
Sure, it sounds messy, but it works. Even as I write this blog post (wishing Patricia were my Queen Spider; ¡Ay caramba!), I’m nudging little bits of paper around and realigning pens; never mind that I desperately need to change my air filters.
Tarantula pens certainly look grubby—full of dirt and tunnels and spidery bric-a-brac—but there is a beautiful hominess and sense of place to their glassed-in domains.
Of course, we’re all playing tarantula these days, with our social distancing and state-mandated hygge (it takes the fun out of it when you’re required to be cooped up at home), spinning wheels instead of spinning webs (though some humans are likely doing both).
Unlike the noble little tarantula, though, I get the sense we’re far more defanged.