Over a month ago, I lost the canister of pepper spray I take with me every where I go. Yesterday, I replaced it using a company that generally works with my University. The man who ran the company arranged to meet with me to drop off my order; the town around my college is small enough that a standard delivery service just makes so much more sense than dealing with the general headache of the post office.

We arranged to meet in broad daylight, in the middle of my campus, and I was scared.

He ended up being wonderfully nice, and even pantomimed a quick demonstration of how best to use my new bottle of pepper spray. The thing is, I hadn’t realized how dependent I was on pepper spray until then. I walked into that public meeting fretting over how I would likely be blamed if I were to somehow be kidnapped. Not alone that, but I was worried about being attacked by someone who built up a business aimed at making sure people are safe.

When I walked away from him and his wife I felt a sense of completeness, and that was truly the scariest thing of all. I realized then how vulnerable and afraid of the world I had felt without that little instrument of defense. And, I knew that I’d been conditioned to feel that way. I left wondering at what sort of world we lived in today that could lead a woman to not only feel like she is missing an integral part of herself is she isn’t equipped with half and ounce of pepper spray, but could also encourage her to feel as such.

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September 2, 2013 · 2:45 pm

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