Guest Post: Molly O’Keefe on Celebrity Fantasies
I have a well-worn fantasy that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon come over to my house for Thanksgiving dinner. (Why THAT is my fantasy for those two men is clearly something I should worry about). For some reason their cars break down in front of my parent’s house (what they are doing with their families in the corn fields of Northern Illinois at Thanksgiving is irrelevant) and because of the holiday and despite their fame, they need to hang out until their cars are fixed.
So, of course they come in for Thanksgiving dinner. All eleven of them.
Things start off rough. My parent’s normally unshakeable Midwestern practicality gets all shaken up by the celebrity. I’m trying too hard to make them feel comfortable and not like strangers in a strange land.
But our kids begin playing, because Barbie vans and dinosaurs are universal. I manage to find a not terrible wine in the potato cupboard under the stove and soon my cousins – missionaries in Africa – are the ones who get the conversation going with the aid-minded couples.
We end up playing spoons (I have to wrestle Ben Affleck for the last one, things get slightly PG-13). The Affleck/Damon kids participate in the Wrestling Take Down Tournament we have every year. They listen attentively to Dad’s story about his dog Pirate that somehow gets told every year.
After my mom’s pumpkin pie – we all end up friends.
It is embarrassing how often I have had this fantasy.
But outside of a couple of Springsteen daydreams that are ridiculously similarly themed – this is the extent of my celebrity obsession.
The Toronto Film Festival is in town this month and the city is lousy with celebrity sightings. I was at a birthday party with a woman who attends the festival every year on a mission to see all the famous people she can. She has time tables and schematics, she sends her children out to scout locations.
I was totally fascinated by the stories she told. J. Lo’s butt could fit in the palm of her hand! George Clooney is actually tiny! Jessica Beil is the most beautiful person she’s seen in real life! Brad Pitt glows with fairy dust!
But I have to say – all of the effort she put into star watching seemed crazy to me. So much energy on people playing characters – personas that were not even real!
And then it hit me. I might only have a few strange G-rated fantasies about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck – but ask me how many I have about the Black Dagger Brotherhood? Or ask me how many silent conversations I’ve had with Samuel from The Shadow and The Star. Or how I used to truly wish – TRULY WISH – there was a ball room where all of Judith McNaught’s characters hung out. And that there might be a way I could watch them.
I still get that giddy feeling when in the pages of a new book I catch a glimpse of characters from an author’s previous book. Still. And I’ve been at this a while. I think I know these people! The characters of my favorite books are my celebrity and I spend a lot of time filling in the blanks of their totally made-up lives.
Obviously this is a compliment to the talented authors in our genre, because I don’t feel this way about characters from other types of books. Perhaps it’s because the material authors use to create romance characters is often the same material that makes up our lives. They are familiar even while being fantastic.
So, I confessed – now it’s your turn. Which celebrities do you have fantasies about? Which fictional characters? If you could meet one fictional character in real life – who would it be? Would you rather meet your favorite celebrity or your favorite character? Anyone have any idea why my celebrity fantasies are so lame?
About the Author:
Molly O’Keefe published her first Harlequin romance at age twenty-five and hasn’t looked back. She loves exploring each character’s road toward happily ever after. She’s won two Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice awards and the RITA for Best Novella in 2010. Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, she now lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband, two kids, and the largest heap of dirty laundry in North America.
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