“Are you guys naked? Can I come in and hang out?” yells Kailey’s roommate, Emily, before she knocks on the bedroom door.

“Why do you always think we’re naked?” Kailey yells back.

“Because you always are,” retorts Emily.

More often than not, I stay at my girlfriend Kailey’s house with her noisy brood. The household consists of three dogs: the lively Weimaraner, Luna, discussed at length in a previous blog; and two beagles–Oliver, a portly, mellow basset/beagle mix, aka “bagel,” and Daisy, the surly, geriatric sixteen-year old. And then, there’s the human–Emily. Emily is younger than us, heterosexual, and endearing in her surprising candor and wisdom. We absolutely love her and have come to think of her as our younger sister. But it’s a household of females. Bitches abound, with the exception of the one mild-mannered male dog. The estrogen is palpable in the air. And, so, sometimes we ladies get snarky with each other (dogs included).

But most of the time, this household is quite joyful. It’s a handful of simple little moments that make all the difference between haven and hell. For instance, before going out on the town, Kailey does everyone’s makeup so that we feel like a dead sexy, all-girl posse. Or, when someone’s had a tough day, Kailey excuses herself to sneak into the kitchen to make “break-and-bake” cookies on the sly. It’s hard to stay grumpy when she comes back ten minutes later with a plate of warm cookies. On the anniversary of my brother’s passing, Em sent me a sweet note to let me know she was thinking about me, and Kailey read one of the Twilight books out loud to me, assigning funny voices to all the characters so I had no choice but to laugh. (Emily is Team Jacob, Kailey and I are Team Edward).


With Valentine’s Day on the cusp, I’ve been pondering–just what is love? I think one of the most confusing definitions I have ever heard is the Wizard of Oz‘s line to the Tin Man when he hands him a “testimonial” in the shape of a heart: “A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.” Every time I hear that I think, wow, really? Is it just a contest of vanities to see how many punches you collect on your dance card of Love? Or maybe what you give out is what you get back. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know the sweetness lies in the little things.