Toting the odd and the unusual

Forget the Boy Scouts, the women of GW leave home prepared for anything.

The Hatchet’s purse investigation reveals no two women carry the same essentials. Female students on campus today are more likely to leave out the usual purse staples such as a wallet, keys and makeup, to make room for some out-of-the-ordinary substitutes. Women on campus tote everything from full-sized bottles of perfume and 10-ounce tubs of petroleum jelly to a complete dental care set on a daily basis.

Junior Jessica Roessel totes around a single AA Everlast battery, enough to charge half of a Walkman or perhaps a mini electric pencil sharpeners. She also carries 385 pesetas in a zipped sandwich baggie – change left over from her Spring Break in Madrid.

Sophomore Sara Outterson stashes an assortment of chicken nugget dipping sauces left over from dinner at Burger King in her handbag.

“It’s a waste to throw them away,” Outterson said. “I just forget to take them out.”

Digging deeper, Outterson produced a handful of ATM receipts, multi-colored gel pens and anti-bacterial hand sanitizer.

Sophomore Karen Braumbaugh said she never goes out without a pack of matches in her purse, even though she does not smoke. She said she keeps the matches handy to light when she uses a public restroom, calling the matches her portable exhaust fan.

“Seriously, the smell of the burning sulfur neutralizes the, you know,” Braumbaugh said.

The odor? Braumbaugh swears it works.

Another GW woman’s pocketbook is weighed down by about two dozen worn Metro farecards, each worth five to 10 cents – not nearly enough to get anywhere around town.

“I don’t want to throw them out because they’re like money,” sophomore Kristin Wardell said.

Wardell is not alone. In fact, Metro authorities dedicate an entire office to dealing with such excesses. Commuters and college students can get a fare-adjustment envelope from a Metro station manager and mail it in to Metro Fare Adjustment Office. The office will consolidate the cards and return the total fare to on a single card.

Mina Owlia, a pre-med freshman and EMERG member, keeps a CPR facemask and a pair of sterile gloves in her purse. The clear plastic mask is designed to cover a person’s mouth and nose and to protect from the transmission of germs between the patient and the medic during CPR.

Although the mask takes up a lot of space, Owlia said she has carried it in her purse since she received CPR certification last year.

“Hey, someone’s going to thank me some day,” she said.

When traveling, junior Jessica Butkera refuses to leave home without her mace and the five-inch taser stun gun she carries in her handbag. She also totes a package of disposable toilet-seat covers for suspect public restrooms.

It is not uncommon to keep an eyeglasses repair-kit on hand, but what if you do not wear glasses? Senior Amanda Crowell admits to carrying a miniature screwdriver for glasses repair in her pocketbook even though she does not wear them, along with two Scooby Doo Band-Aids, a couple packs of mint dental floss and the connecting joint to a hand-held bike-wheel pump.

Bored on the Metro or maybe in class? Jessica Acimovic stashes a pleasure book in case she gets a free moment to read. This week it is the romantic thriller, “Whitney My Love,” by Judith McNaught.

Are those permanent marker lines on your hands keeping you from drinking at a club? Sophomore Bethany Marshall claims she’s found a foolproof method – an extra tube of Chap Stick does the trick.

Senior Larissa Davis can tell which pressure points will clear your headache with the reflexology hand-massage chart she stashes in her purse. The only catch? It is written in German.

Senior Kay Jones’ purse is bursting at the seams. It is nearly a full-blown first-aid kit. Jones’ bag is packed with a whistle, flashlight, two-inch knife, mirror, alcohol swabs, tweezers, lighter, insulin, syringes, fingernail clippers, notebook paper and more.

Lost your Chap Stick? Ask sophomore KeAshia Jones. She offers five varieties: cherry, mint, vanilla, moisturizing and original, all from the same purse.

And then there’s Little Miss Giggles, by Roger Hangeaves, which junior Leah Sag takes with her everywhere. As a child Sag collected the entire set of Little Miss and Little Mr. books, and she holds one close in case she or a friend needs a lift.

From the mundane to the insane, GW students carry it all. Think they are weird . what is in your purse?

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