Vail: 7 questions with author Kaylee Kuehnast
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado ” Over the course of 10 years, author and former Vail Valley, Colorado resident Kaylee Kuehnast figures she has gone on 126 blind dates, most of which she used as fodder for her new book “In the Meet Market: The tales of rare meetings, butchered encounters and dates well done.” And while Kuehnast, 31, now lives on the Front Range, she lived in East Vail for four years (until 2008) where she wrote, rewrote and eventually finished her book.
“Vail is the perfect place to write and I’m shocked that every writer doesn’t retreat to Eagle or Summit County,” she said.
1. Vail Daily: How much of this book is based on your real life?
Kaylee Kuehnast: Only three of my dating stories were fully kept in tact. Many of them were from friends or when I was writing and in need of elements for a character, I would pull snippets from past dates, but only tiny details. The book is fiction. I named the three characters because I know multiple people named Gail, Amy, Jerry and Katie.
2. VD: Are there any dates in here that truly happened?
KK: Yes. My favorite is in the book. My car lease was about to expire and my cousin who sold used cars was going to find me a screaming deal, but didn’t find one before I had to turn in my car and I became “carless.” Feeling bad, my cousin pulled up to my place with a beauty of a boat. The loaner gold Grand Marquis was the ultimate sleaze mobile with torn vinyl seats, a half-drunk orange pop bottle sitting in the front cup holder, cigarette burns all over the floor and cracks in the window and dashboard. When I arrived at the coffee shop for my date, I went in early to Febreze myself off because the car reeked. The date went well and he was a playground architect and wanted to show me one of the playgrounds he designed down the street. Sure enough, his two-seater car was filled with plans and so he asked me to drive. As we sailed down the road, I suddenly stopped at a stop sign and a yellow pee bottle slid out from underneath his seat and landed between his feet. Now, that’s raw embarrassment.
3. VD: Did some of the dates you talk about in the book involve anyone you met or dated in Vail?
KK: I did take some minor details from the dates with Vail guys and integrated small elements into a few of the characters or stories.
4. VD: When/where did you write the book?
KK: I had the idea over seven years ago and never was really able to sit down and write until I moved to Vail. During the four years I lived in Vail, I re-wrote the book twice and completed it.
5. VD: You’ve really gone on 126 blind dates?
KK: The 126 blind dates are spanned over 10 years … so that’s only about one or two per month. Many people think it’s weird that I’ve been set-up so many times, but I think it’s a safer option than bars or the Internet. I also want to add that at one point in my life I had more than 20 single girlfriends all at one time. One evening at a bar, we discovered that we all had at least one really great guy that we didn’t feel any attraction to, but would make an awesome boyfriend. We decided to do a large set-up date and each invite one of our male friends. We had two of these “dating” events and because it was like a speed date set-up, I counted all 48 guys in my 126 number. I’ve been set-up at BBQ’s, weddings and the two strangest set-up attempts (also in the book) were on an airplane and on the 4th of July in front of the Vail Covered Bridge by a complete stranger that I almost threw up on from heat exhaustion.
6. VD: Can you tell me about a particularly memorable blind date?
KK: The most memorable set-up was one of my first blind dates ” the story is in the book. Normally when I’m nervous, I am painfully quiet, but since I had consumed gallons of caffeine trying to calm my anxiety, I talked non-stop. In an effort to avoid the weird good night kiss, I jumped out of the moving car and darted to the door yelling out “you have my number.” After the date with me, the guy decided to get back together with his ex-fiance. Today, I not only practice, but recommend minimal consumption of caffeine and/or alcohol before and during dates.
7. VD: Are you single now?
KK: Does the imaginary boyfriend count? If not, yes.
High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or email@example.com.