TRUE or FALSE:
In Seven for a Secret, Kate's dating history was largely inspired by the author's real-life experiences.
Watch the new BOOK TRAILER as you think it over...
Last time, I made it clear that Dexter was in no way based on a particular ex-boyfriend of mine who worked at the Adler Planetarium. But that isn't to say he (and other male characters) weren't loosely based on other "romantic" encounters in my life. For the most part, Dexter is his own man. I really did not base him on anyone I know outside of the "break" he takes with Kate. The break itself didn't happen, but I'm ashamed to admit I once laid out the "inclusive" terms that Kate does. The guy and I had already been broken up for a while, however, and though I earnestly wanted to get back together with him, I also wanted to have my cake and eat it, too (which, to be fair, is an expression I've never understood as being a bad thing. I mean, what's the point of having cake if you're NOT going eat it??). I'd been enjoying seeing other people so wanted that to continue, too. Which might've worked if the feeling were mutual, but it unfortunately wasn't; he dated no one else while I went out once with another guy, and that was enough for things between us to deteriorate fast. I'll always feel bad about instigating getting back together with such unrealistic and unfair expectations, and I wanted Kate to learn that lesson, too.
In any case, some of Dex's mannerisms in that scene are reminiscent of breakup discussions I've had (none of which, FYI, EVER happened directly after such an intimate moment of passion!), and the ones he doesn't display (but Kate reflects on) are my husband's:
"She wondered how many others besides her were able to notice such microscopic differences in him; who else had learned the little traits he had like scraping his fingers against his thumbs when he was indecisive or how his body jerked in brief spasms whenever he first fell asleep?"Beyond Dex, though, the other inspirations were pretty straightforward:
"A chatty yet friendly accountant she’d met at Fado’s invited her and another gal she worked with to Smith & Wollensky with his buddy. It had been an evening of good steak, martinis, and hilarious company, and she was excited about giving the gentleman her number. Until the waiter toured them through the kitchen and her date suctioned to her from behind, his hands roving her body under the pretense of keeping her warm inside the meat locker.Yep and yep. Except I met the first guy at Rock Bottom Brewery, not Fado Irish Pub, I don't remember his profession, and I was never--at any point--excited about giving him my number. But he did make himself cozy inside that meat locker, and though I never sang karaoke at Trader Todd's (just subjected my ears to others), that lanky redhead did chase after me in the rain. And in both cases, I was too nice to not give them my number but mean enough to never answer or return their calls--just like Kate.
Then there was Thursday night when a group of her college friends had subjected her to karaoke therapy at Trader Todd’s, the cheesy tropical-themed bar where the guy who’d played Ogre in Revenge of the Nerds always hung out. But neither spotting Ogre in a Hawaiian shirt nor her inexpert renditions of 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' and 'I’ve Had the Time of My Life' had been enough to work magic on Kate’s mood. However, another piña colada had gotten her to finally flirt back with the lanky redhead who’d been commanding her attention all night. He’d even chased out in the rain after her when she’d tried to bail while he was in the bathroom. The gesture had all the makings of life imitating rom-com art, yet Kate had only reluctantly given him her number."
And then there's David... Kate mentions meeting a guy at Gamekeepers sports bar, which is where I met the guy who in part inspired Hot Neighbor--except the guy I dated was not hot. He was tall with a handsome face and five years older, which I really liked; his 27 years of age seemed so mature to my 22, and he just seemed like so much more of a man than the guys my age. But he wasn't built like David and didn't have that beautiful head of hair (actually, he's probably bald by now). Like David, though, he was a lawyer and had the same personality, let's just say (I don't want to spoil too much if you haven't read the book). Yet while the kiss at Geja's Cafe did happen with him, the "Big Scooch" did not...
That's all I'm going to say about that.
Needless to say, my perspectives about love and dating were very much like Kate's when I was in my early twenties. I thought I had all the time in the world--and definitely an idealized (deluded) sense of romance that was originally warped by the Molly Ringwald movies I watched growing up as an '80s child. (In fact, a conversation with a friend about this inspired his Tribecca Film Festival award-winning screenplay, John Hughes Ruined My Life, which is in development now as a future web series! You can follow @JohnHughesRML on Twitter.) As Kate reflects:
"The guys had definitely gotten better over the years as she honed her selection process into a science.To make matters worse, I was even a bridesmaid in my sister's wedding when I was fifteen. No red sports car waited for me outside the church that day. Or any day. Just a used silver Buick when I finally did find the man who'd say, Yeah, you. :)
Yet whenever she was just about to get more practical about it all—write up her lists of pros and cons and see how Dex or any other guy weighed in on paper—Kate would get this vision of herself standing in the doorway of a church, a bridesmaid bouquet in her hand. As she’d look down forlornly, in her peripheral vision she’d notice guests’ cars driving away, only to look up and see Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles in his sweater vest, his button-down shirt rolled to his elbows. He’d be leaning against his red sports car, smiling and waving at...her?
And then she’d meet him halfway as he jogged across the street to her. Fuck, Kate thought as Vera’s gritty voice dulled into background noise. John Hughes, you’ve ruined me for all men."