When I graduated from high school, someone gave me a can of pepper spray in a cute little keychain. As I was packing to move to Louisville for college, I attached it to my keys. I also learned other ways to be prepared for situations I may encounter moving to a bigger city on my own.

Aimhunter/ Amazon
Aimhunter/ Amazon

Fast forward to a couple of years later, I was in the library to kill some time and study before going to a meeting. I plopped my keys down on a table and sat down rubbing my eyes.  All of a sudden the FLAMES whooshed all over my face, and I couldn't open my eyes. Somehow the pepper spray had broken and I was in big trouble!

I gathered my things and stumbled down to the Starbucks on the first floor. Asking the barista for some milk, I'm sure she looked at me like I was insane, but I couldn't see her face! Taking pity on me at this point, they didn't make me pay, so I cried my way into the bathroom. I leaned over the sink and poured that miracle cow juice over my burning eyes.

Once there was some improvement, I walked back to my room.  All night and a half gallon later, I was almost back to normal. I threw the pepper spray away, washed my hands and never got a replacement! I didn't want to risk that again!

Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash
Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash
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You can carry pepper spray in the state of Illinois, but there are some restrictions in certain areas of the state.  In Chicago, you cannot use your pepper spray in a room of 20 or more people. It can also only be used in self-defense, which I think is a strange point of clarity, because what kind of person is out here using it for fun?


Residents of Indiana can have any type of pepper spray as long as it does not cause lasting harm. Most pepper spray side effects are supposed to only last about a half hour. I am a delicate flower, so that was not the experience for me! I was on the struggle bus the rest of the night for sure.


Even though, I had a bad experience, at least I wasn't breaking the law in Kentucky by carrying the pepper spray to begin with.  All types of pepper spray are legal here and can be used as long as it is a situation of self-defense.  Retailers will often check to make sure the buyer is over 18, but that seems to be the only Kentucky regulation I can find.


If I ever feel unsafe while walking alone, I now use the "keys in-between fingers" method. Ladies, I know you unfortunately know what I'm talking about.  I figure my inner ginger rage will help me fight off any nefarious encounter. Understandable though, if you want more protection than that. Lord knows, this day in age, I think about better forms of self-defense sometimes! It's good to know pepper spray is an option if I can fight through the traumatic memories of 2007!


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