Give Me 5 with Claire Kettering

Give Me 5 is a La Vie Louise editorial where we ask people we admire, who inspire, and who pass our COOL & KIND test with flying colors to answer this question with their five senses...

What Gets You High?

Claire at home with her peacock, Samuel L. Jackson.


One of my favorite things to hear is a champagne bottle opening. It’s not a sound that accompanies the mundane. You hear the unmistakable pop and fizz because you’re celebrating, living life to the fullest or honoring something important. It’s not usually a sound you hear alone, you tend to be surrounded by beloved people in your life or with someone connected to you. It’s exciting, hopeful and full of panache. In a time like this we need to hear champagne bottles - to be reminded that life is always beautiful and even the small things should be celebrated. And when this is all over, hand me a sword and I'll saber one for you.


I can’t believe this was my first thought, but when I think of a smell that gets me high, I think of Tommy Boy cologne. I’m embarrassed to say that it’s been my kryptonite since 1995. I still remember smelling it for the first time in the hallway at school and it paralyzed me. To this day it will stop me in my tracks, make me forget what I had been doing – I’ve even followed a stranger around a mall just to get my fix. It's a weapon my husband could use to have complete control and lead me around like a puppy, luckily, he’d never want a woman like that. I don't get to experience it much anymore, but when I do, it reminds me that as I grow and change I'm still connected to that little girl in the 6th grade hallway, and hopefully I'm making her proud with who I am today. 


I spent ages 19 to 34 living with a cantankerous, but wonderful dachshund named Manseau. She was a constant in my life while I was learning who I was, what I wanted to be and who I wanted to share my life with. I have such a strong memory of waking up in the middle of most nights and reaching under the covers to feel for her next to me. She was always there. After she died, I would still reach down for her and remember she was gone. It's a reminder that every being who fills our lives leaves an impact. My husband, Will, knew this and after she left us he drove her to Tennessee, got her stuffed, and now she sits in all her glory on our living room shelf (you can see her in some of our photos!)

I can touch her anytime I want. So get you a partner who loves you to the ‘stuff a dog level’ because that’s what really touches me and gives me a high. That's what I feel when I think of my Manseau story; I think of my Will story. 


My mind goes to a person’s likes and dislikes – an individual's established taste – versus the actual act of tasting something. I think about three strong women in my life, my mom Claudia, and my sisters Paige and Grace. Cut from the same cloth, but each so distinct. I can close my eyes and clearly see who they are and how they are shaped by their individual styles and I see how each of theirs has affected me. Claudia’s is the most similar to mine. Her’s has become a reassuring, experienced guide to look up to. Paige is disciplined, structured and thoughtful. Grace is more wild, free and colorful. Our tastes are different, but through mutual appreciation we nudge and push each other to reimagine and see things in a new light. This helps us understand each other and respect who we are becoming. Our distinct styles both challenge and allow us to overlap and evolve together in the most beautiful way.


I love seeing women supporting women. That's a huge high. We are watching it grow into a powerful zeitgeist with no slowing down and we all need to participate. I think one of the biggest responsibilities women have to each other is to be more open about the ‘bad’ along with the ‘good’. Whether it’s through a huge platform that reaches many or conversation within a small group, talk about what we have historically kept hidden and been scared to share. The more we put ourselves out there to each other the more we can have honest conversations that will help us become more confident and powerful within our own lives. It’s more important now than ever as we find ourselves comparing our lives to what we see around us. Being open and transparent will have a ripple effect that will combat against the idea that we have to be perfect. and while we are  realizing that we don’t, it will unite us more than ever.


 I think one of the biggest responsibilities women have to each other is to be more open about the ‘bad’ along with the ‘good’.

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