Bad Dates & The Magic of Community Tables

I’d be hard pressed to find a writer who hasn’t had the experience of someone asking if a character in their book is based on them, or if they really do write the people they know into their books. I can assure you that I’ve never written an actual person I know directly into my books.

Unless you’re sitting across the communal table from me at a coffee shop and happen to be talking about that bad date you had. And I also just happen to be writing a book where the main character is going to go on some terrible dates. That might end up in my book.

Speaking of which, a huge thanks to the ladies across the table at a coffee shop in Portland, Oregon who gave me the amazing material below the other day. Because, truly, sometimes you can’t make this stuff up:

“He paid for our dinner, which in the Portland dating scene is pretty unheard of,” Friend One said, reviewing her date from the night before and trying to figure out if it had gone well.

“Seriously,” Friend Two agreed.

“I know right, we got pizza and I offered to split the check, and he said he’d take care of it, so that was nice.”

“Definitely not the norm,” agreed Friend Two.

“Did I tell you about that one date I went on, where I didn’t really feel like drinking, so all I had was a seltzer water. He had three beers and when the check came he asked me for a dollar for my drink,” Friend One said.

“No. Way.”

“Yep. And then all I had was a ten. So he ended up paying. He said I could get him next time.” Friend One explained.


“Exactly. Next time? There will be no next time.”

So no, I’m not going to write you into my book, I promise. But if you sit down across from me at that big table in a coffee shop and have a  really interesting conversation with your friend, I can’t promise your story won’t end up in my novel. You’ve been warned.

Also, while we’re talking crazy dating stories– if you’ve got one you’d like to share (without me having to eavesdrop on you at your local coffee shop) feel free to drop it in the comments below. You never know, it might just end up in my book.


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