Some have it. Some are looking for it. And some want nothing to do with it. The Beatles told us that it was all we needed. The J. Gelis Band told us it stinks. Justin Bieber told us to do it to ourselves.
No matter what you think about love, there is something that connects almost everyone together: we love a good love story. (Except The J. Gelis Band but that’ s probably because they were pissed because their angel was a centerfold. And this moment of 80s music was brought to you by my childhood.)
And since we’re now in the 21st Century, a good love story isn’t just about a boy seeing a girl across a crowded room, their eyes meeting, their hearts beating a little faster, yada yada yada. Sometimes boy meets girl through a dating app or a support group. Sometimes that girl meets another girl. Or that boy meets the man of his dreams. And sometimes that love story isn’t about eros love. Sometimes it’s about a woman finally becoming a mother. Or a child saying goodbye to a dying parent.
Since 2004, The New York Times has featured different love stories in their column, “Modern Love.” Whether it is about marriage, parenting, or dating, the column gives a voice to this thing called love in a sometimes funny, often brutally honest, and most likely poignant way. This past January, the column was literally given a voice when it was released as a podcast series. Modern Love, hosted by Boston’s WBUR’s Meghana Chakabarti and NYT’s Daniel Jones, features actors and actresses narrating true love stories.
I discovered Modern Love by complete accident. I’m an Ingrid Nilsen fan, so when I heard she had a podcast, I fangirled and downloaded the first episode. I wasn’t impressed. (Sorry, Ingrid! I still love your YouTube channel!) But not one to dwell on defeat, I ventured into the perilous world of the podcasts, which means I clicked on the “Related” section and started trolling. That’s when Modern Love caught my attention.
I’ll be honest: I had no idea what Modern Love was until that moment. I actually thought it was a podcast from Aziz Ansari as a way to promote his book about dating in the technologically driven world, Modern Romance. It wasn’t.
But I didn’t click out of the page. I listened to one podcast and one turned into nineteen podcasts, bringing me to laughter or to tears, and making me think about my own modern love with nostalgia sometimes mix with a touch of embarrassment.
Stories include “The Plunge,” in which Dakota Fanning tells the story of a girl who fell 100 feet and discovered love in her recovery and “Mom/Not Mom/Aunt,” narrated by Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, about a gay man searching for a surrogate.
Whether you download all episodes or listen to only one, Modern Love reminds us that love is the most beautifully complex emotion and it provides one hell of a story to tell.
Looking for other podcasts? Did you know That’s Normal makes podcasts? We do and they’re awesome! Click here and discover how amazing our voices sound!