Last night I dreamed of Guinea pigs.

Lee, Ray, and I were on our way back from a store in another dream, just walking along a road, when I saw a flowerpot on the side of the road with Cheese Nibs crushed in it.  And the back end of some critter, its little feet kicking away.

I gently pulled the critter out of the packed crackers.  It was a Guinea pig!  I love Guinea pigs.  If cats represent a kind of reasonable cuteness and affection (they may not always like you, but your cats always love you), Guinea pigs are unconditional love to me.  Not dogs, which have weird ideas about territory, but Guinea pigs.  They don’t care who you are.  They love you.  They don’t care what you give them to eat.  They eat it.  They poop and pee on things unconditionally, too, because that’s how they roll (they’re very round, you know).

There were other Guinea pigs around, too, and together we ended up saving four Guinea pigs.  I had two on each arm.  The top two snuggled up to my neck, trying to get under my hair, the peegs do.  We went from door to door, asking people if these were their peegs.  I was really hoping I could keep those peegs, but I knew that if someone had thrown out their peegs with the cheese nibs by mistake, they would be really grieving.

“No, no, not our peegs.”

“No, those aren’t my pets.”

But the third door.  A man who was very short and fat and had legs that were (now that I think about it) proportionately the same size as those of a Guinea pig’s to its body answered the door.  “Yes!  Yes!  Those are my peegs.”  He had tears in his eyes, so I had to give his peegs back.  Whatever mistakes he had made, he didn’t deserve to have his peegs taken from him.

I woke up.

Yesterday was our anniversary, our thirteenth.

We had completely forgotten about it until my sister-in-law Connie emailed me about it.  I had to laugh and send an email to Lee.  He promised me chocolate; I promised him other things but, proverbially, had a headache.   (Don’t worry.  I always keep my promises.)  I really hope it wasn’t all that chocolate that gave me a headache.  We played WOW last night with a friend of Lee’s and ate decked-out hot dogs for supper.  It wasn’t a terribly romantic night, but it was very sweet.

The last few years have been like Guinea pigs.  “Oh, well,” you say sometimes, and that’s about as bad as it gets.

For example, on Friday, Lee took his ring off while working out (he’s always taking it off) and left it on top of one of the machines.  “Oh, well,” I said.  He’d busted up the ring he’d had when we got married years ago, and I’d bought him another one with Celtic knots on it–but hadn’t spent too much on it, figuring it would be shredded in a year or two.  He’s had it for about a decade now, if I remember right, but it’s all misshapen and lumpy, if he rolls it on a flat surface.  “Oh, well.”  He found it that morning and sent me an email about it:  I’d forgotten that he’d lost it.

Every day is better or worse, but they are all filled with sweetness.  I get spoiled every day, so getting extra-spoiled is kind of embarrassing.

This morning was another Guinea pig moment.

Ray and I were walking to school, and a tiny, tiny dog escaped from her owner and went fearlessly yapping toward us.  I mean, this dog makes Chihuahuas look massive:  she was the size of a 6-week Guinea pig, but with longer legs and pointier ears.

Ray had been grumpy all morning and got even grumpier when I made her clean up her mess before she could get on the computer.  It wasn’t much, but there was all kinds of sighing and dragging of feet, so it took a while.  By the time she got done, it was time for school.  I told her she had to eat breakfast there rather than here.

Then I looked out the door:  the bug across the street was in the driveway.  It belongs to the daughter of the people who live there (or an adult but generationally younger woman, anyway), and only shows up occasionally.  We had to declare my bug off-limits because it was getting too hard to get out of the house in the morning, but this one’s fair game.  I slugged Rachael.  Very gently.

“I don’t care, mom.  I’m just grumpy this morning.”

I pretended I wasn’t disappointed, but I was.

We walked to school, and she just took off ahead of me and wouldn’t slow down.  I teased her about it, so she slowed down and waited for me, then rolled her eyes at me.  I gave her a hug.

“Good job on your first transformations into becoming a teenager,” I said.

She laughed.  Then the dog escaped, her mom caught her, and we got to pet the world’s teeniest dog.  I let Ray take most of the petting time, then hustled her off to school.  On the way she slugged me one.  When we got there, a girl who is the president of the local manga club was waiting to walk with her the last bit into school.  Ray had been supposed to bring in the first One Piece, but she’d forgotten.  How you can be president of the local manga club without knowing One Piece, I don’t know, but there you go.  I hugged Ray and let her go, because that’s my job right now.

If you love Guinea pigs, you have to let them be Guinea pigs.  Or something like that.