Sometimes, when I turn to my computer as salvation, I watch the New York Times Style Vows Playlist.
This is a list of videos, or “multimedia” as jounalists like to call it, that tell the love story of how couples came to be engaged.
Sometimes the stories are very sweet and I am envious of their happiness, sometimes the couple is boring, and sometimes I wonder, “Which of these couples will end up getting divorced?” And I watch video after video after video.
No matter what, it makes me happy to see two people so happy, which is something I’m probably bad at doing in real life. But with the impersonal distance of a computer screen, I can let down my guard, forgive flaws, and not be struck by the jealousy that would hit me if two people close to me were happy.
I’m not always like that–I am happy for my friends when they are happy–but sometimes it’s hard if they are happy because they have something I don’t have or something I don’t understand. When you see strangers talking then it’s much easier to accept that naturally this couple loves to go on weekend roadtrips upstate and visit historic homes. I might have a little more trouble understanding such a fondness if it came from my friend and her new boyfriend.
Yet the New York Times Sylte Vows Playlist enables me to escape into my romantic side where anything is possible. All we see is that these couples found each other and now they are happy. The couples never talk about how frustrating dating was or how they are now too old to have children together. I walk away from my laptop sure that I too will efforlessly find my future husband and be on the Vows Playlist myself one day.