I've shared previously that Ethan is partially based on a real person who was very dear to me. That person and I had a lot of differences - we still do. But what we had in common was a passionate love of music and literature. Now, finding a musical artist or group that we could agree on? That was something of a challenge. But there was a mutual respect - he played the drums, I sang and played several instruments. He liked punk rock, I liked just about everything else. Things I thought were romantic or beautiful he thought were lame, and the stuff he found awesome I found too rough around the edges.
So what do you do with that yin and yang dynamic? You either call the whole thing off, or you decide to learn from one another.
That's exactly what my real-life friend and I did, and it's what happens with Kate and Ethan, who are both musically gifted. He teaches her about punk rock music, she teaches him about jazz. They can agree on The Smiths, The Cure, and Frank Sinatra. They both love to read, so she loans him 1984 and Wuthering Heights, he loans her On the Road and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. In the end, everyone learns something new, and everyone wins.
In every relationship I've ever been in, whether romantic or platonic, I've picked up a new interest or hobby from that person. Long after people have come and gone from my life, I have these trinkets to remember them by - a song that comes on the radio that I never would have heard if not for a specific someone, a movie an old friend taught me to love, a favorite painting. These are the souvenirs of love.