Gretchen, the best new Vine celebrity of 2015, is not technically a spider, as I learned through grueling research. As a "daddy longleg" she is an arachnid, but she only has two eyes (not eight), she doesn't make silk, and she doesn't have a waist. These are a few of the prerequisites to being a spider, and they're non-negotiable.
Before today I believed that daddy longlegs were pretty much spiders and couldn't have told you the difference, which just goes to show how fallible the American public school system is, I guess.
Further research proved that some daddy longlegs are spiders. The daddy longlegs that are spiders are monsters. They're not the same thing as Gretchen. You can see how I was confused, but you can also see how my schooling could have been better.
Update: Stacey Nightmare, the operator of this Vine account, tells me that Gretchen is indeed a cellar spider, another name for the type of daddy longleg that is a spider. I'm very confused.
Anyway, Gretchen is at least an arachnid. And boy, what an arachnid is Gretchen.
Gretchen is not really a spider, but she really is a natural beauty
Gretchen appears to live with a Vine user named Stacey Nightmare, whose voice I can't really stand. But their relationship was necessary in order to elevate Gretchen to her current place of stardom, so for it I am grateful. Stacey, dear, you are Jamie Foxx's character in Dreamgirls, and you have to be okay with that.
I'm stalling because as much as I love Gretchen and want her to be a star, there's also a small part of me that wants to just keep her for myself, you know? "It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight," you know? Love is selfish, and despicable. Here is Gretchen.
Oh my goodness, Gretchen. I firmly believe you could breathe new life into any meme.
Gretchen getting herself into trouble, like all auteurs are wont to do:
This is just Gretchen, just Gretchen-ing. Trying to get a waist, but she won't, because she's not a spider (she might be a spider).
Gretchen, you have slain me, and I am no more.
Before Gretchen there was another spider, Gertrude, who died in oblivion, before her time could come. Art is never recognized in its day.
Updated December 23rd 3:40 PM EST: Stacey Nightmare claims that Gretchen is indeed a spider, specifically a "long bodied cellar spider" or Pholcus phalangioides. It seems very possible!