OS: Welcome to Ashlyn Kane!
Adults in the Wild
Every once in a while you find out someone doesn’t know something, and it absolutely blows your mind. How did this person make it to adulthood without this most basic of knowledge? How have they survived this long without this key information?
I’m sure this is exactly what my friends and neighbors thought about me when we moved to Germany a few years ago and I had to figure out the strict intricacies of German garbage and recycling. Let’s see if I can get this right. There was an upright bin at our apartment for paper recycling, and one for things like cartons, cans, yogurt containers, Tetra paks, most food wrappers, that kind of thing (also recyclable in Gemany). Glass had to be taken down the street and sorted into different receptacles for brown, green, and clear glass. Compost—biological waste like veggie peels, rotting fruit, uneaten leftover green beans, and eggshells, but not meat or bones—went in a paper bag which in turn was deposited into its own receptacle outside the apartment. Plastic beverage bottles and the plastic cartons they were sold in had to be brought back to the store for Pfand (return). If somehow your piece of waste didn’t fall into one of these categories, you could safely put it in the garbage without incurring the wrath of you apartment association, which could get fined if you screwed it up.
Any adult who’s grown up in Germany probably has the rules pretty well memorized (though I understand they can vary by city and state, as everything in Germany seems to). I’m sure it was absurd to others that this was something I actually had to spend time thinking about.
We’re back in Ontario now, but the “what do you mean, you don’t know this?” surprises keep coming. How about this doozy from my husband last week:
Husband: Ugh, I don’t want to go to two different Home Depots.
Me: …why would you have to go to two different Home Depots?
Husband: To take this back, but then that store doesn’t have the other thing I want in stock, so I have to go to the other one.
Husband: It’s all the way across the city!
Me: You have the receipt! You can just… return this item… to the store that has the thing you want in stock. It’s the same chain.
Husband: *mind blown*
Now, my husband obviously doesn’t return items very often. But this still boggles my mind. How did he make it to almost 34 years of age without knowing this?
And, uh, not to pick on the guy, but the other day we had to return some empties to the Beer Store. Ontario’s not as great with bottle refunds as, say, Germany, but there is actually a program in place. So we were cleaning out the garage, and I kept handing him things.
Husband: These nonbeer alcoholic beverage cans can be returned?
Me: Uh-huh. Did you think I hadn’t put them in the recycling just because I was lazy? (If he did think this, it was probably legit; I am the worst.) *hands him liquor bottle*
Husband: These can be returned? For money?
We’ve been married eight years, together for fifteen. And still somehow these things that I’ve taken for granted, that are such an ingrained part of my experience of life I don’t think about them, were a total surprise to someone who’s shared a huge part of that life and experience. It’s great fodder for books, this gap. And an important thing to remember in everyday life too, that not everyone shares our lived experience or has access to the knowledge we absorbed without realizing it.
Meanwhile, now that I’ve called my husband out in public, I’m left wondering—what does he know that I don’t?
People experiencing the same setting in different ways is one of the underlying themes of the book I’m ostensibly here to promote. His Leading Man is a story about a writer and an actor. They both live in L.A., but even though they live in the same place and work in the same industry, their personalities mean they experience it differently—but that doesn’t stop them from being drawn to each other.
He wrote a comedy. Fate directed a romance.
Drew Beaumont is bored of the same old roles: action hero, supervillain, romantic lead. He’s not going to let a fresh gay buddy comedy languish just because they can’t find him the right costar. No, Drew bats his eyelashes and convinces everyone that the movie’s writer should play Drew’s not-so-straight man.
Aspiring writer Steve Sopol has never had a screenplay optioned. Now one of Hollywood’s hottest properties wants to be in a movie Steve hasn’t finished writing—and he wants Steve as his costar. Turns out the chemistry between them is undeniable—on and offscreen.
Drew swore off dating in the biz, but Steve is the whole package: sharp, funny, humble, and cute. For Steve, though, giving in to the movie magic means the end of the privacy he cherishes. Will the credits roll before their ride into the sunset?
ASHLYN KANE is a Canadian former expat and current hockey fan. She is a writer, editor, handyperson, dog mom, and friend—sometimes all at once.
On any given day, she can usually be found walking her ninety-pound baby chocolate lapdog, Indy, or holed up in her office avoiding housework. She has a deep and abiding love of romance-novel tropes, a habit of dropping too many f-bombs, and—fortunately—a very forgiving family.