This Week's Thoughts

On love, choices, and the passage of time

Kinsey Grant
February 15, 2022

Hi there, everyone! Before we get to the good stuff (new episode!!), quick survey off the bat here—do y’all watch YouTube? If you do, I’d love to learn more about what you like and don’t like on the platform. I’m trying to stay nimble, ya know? And if you don’t watch YouTube, let me know why too. (It’s okay if the only reason you use YouTube is to show someone your favorite Vine from like 2010 I get it.)

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What I’m Thinking About This Week

The enormity of love—in all its versions. I know that yesterday was *technically* Valentine’s Day, but in this house we celebrate holidays for as long as we want to and for no less than one calendar week. And that’s why today, I’m thinking a lot about the prerequisites for love.

We hear about them all the time—you have to love yourself first, you have to stop looking, you have to be a certain age or know certain things about yourself, you have to get more precise with your manifestation. I think, in reality, it’s a lot less complicated than all of that.

Scientifically speaking, all you really need is to be attracted to a person and know they’re attracted to you too. It helps if you have similar values and ambitions and lives that fit one another. But at its core, love is a simple yes or no choice that we make—we choose to show up, to prioritize, to listen, to commit, to compromise, to grow, to be less selfish.

It's simple...but if it is, how come accounting for all the love in my life can feel profoundly overwhelming, a biblical undertaking? How am I to put into words the love I feel in my life? How am I to verbalize for all of you a feeling I’ve hardly been able to verbalize for myself?

I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to do it justice—and maybe I’m just fine with the fact that, despite my job as a distiller of information, I’ll never be capable of synthesizing that feeling of loving someone so much it almost makes you sad. 

There’s a lot I don’t know about love, but I do know this: To experience it, even once and no matter with whom, is a gift as great as life. And I want to talk about that.

So this week on Thinking Is Cool, thanks to everyone’s favorite Hallmark holiday, is about love.

But because I can’t help myself…we’re going to do it with a twist. We’re not just talking about love. We’re learning about how it comes to exist. There are scientifically proven ways to create an environment for love, and it involves doing more than just recreating the final scene from The Parent Trap.

So hit play and settle in for a fun little jaunt through what makes love so unimaginably wonderful. You’ll hear from Dr. Arthur Aron, a research professor at SUNY Stony Brook who studies love and piloted a method for creating immediate intimacy and connection between strangers. You’ll also hear from some Thinking Is Cool listeners about their own diverse perspectives on love. And you’ll hear from me! Notorious lover of love and huge sap.

Find the episode: on Apple, Spotify, and everywhere else you get your podcasts.

And now for a quick word from the wonderful Massican.

The very first time my boyfriend, noted wine enthusiast, came over to my apartment for dinner, I uncorked a bottle of wine that he loved so much he rated it five stars in his wine app. I credit this bottle of wine as much as the Hinge app in jumpstarting our romance.

The bottle of wine in question? A Sauvignon Blanc by none other than Massican.

Massican wines are my go-to for new friends, new I-hope-this-is-more-than-friends, and lifelong friends alike for a reason—they’re deserving of those five-star reviews without pretentious pricing or ridiculous branding.

Massican has been featured on top 100 lists at Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast for four years running. But it’s also just $30 a bottle. No additives, no sugar. Just really good wine that makes for really good memories.

Learn more about Massican or purchase a bottle today right here. Or check out the local selection at your favorite fine wine shops and at select Whole Foods nationwide.

Bonus: A photo I took of us drinking Massican that I posted online kind of trying to soft launch our relationship :)

Nothing says new boyfriend like two glasses of wine

Good Read(s) and Recommendation(s)

Read: It’s easy to think about the changes in your own life over the course of a decade. In the years since February 2012, I’ve earned a degree, moved to a new city, changed career paths, upended everything I thought I knew—I can quantify the massive scale of the change in my life over 10 years because it’s my life.

But it wasn’t until I began reading this piece in New York Magazine that I realized how insignificant my last decade has been—my selfish, small, privileged last decade. It has been 10 years since Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. 10 years since the Black Lives Matter movement set forth in earnest on a path that would eventually reconfigure societal norms for the better and hopefully for good. 10 years since many of us (those privileged enough to not have to consider the calculus of how dangerous it might be to leave your home because of the color of your skin) began to confront deep-rooted and oft-sanctioned unfairness based on race. 10 years.

I remember going to a dance competition in Sanford, Florida, in February of 2013, one year after Trayvon Martin was killed. There was little talk of that town’s significance in my orbit at that point. But today, many conversations later and a decade on, everything has changed.

Recommendation: Go get coffee with someone in your professional universe with no agenda. I recently got my little Friday whole milk latte with a friend who works in media (but he does the cool kind of media like scripts and streamers and stuff) instead of by myself. 

We weren’t networking; we didn’t have anything specific to talk about. But we did laps around Prospect Park, jumping from toxic masculinity to his experience with fatherhood to whether Joan Didion would have a podcast if she came up today with an almost frenetic energy.

It was enlivening, and I came back across the bridge to my apartment brimming with ideas and brilliance and inspiration…just from talking to someone who kind of gets it.

Recommendation: I cannot in good faith recommend a show that features a talking penis in any degree of prominence, but I will say that I am watching Pam & Tommy on Hulu despite the second episode’s efforts to dissuade me. Going from Yellowjackets to…whatever this show is has been a wild ride.

That’s all for today. Listen to my latest episode and get ready for some fun and exciting and (if you’re me) really nerve-wracking announcements coming very soon to Thinking Is Cool. Happy February 15th! 

Love,

Kinsey

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What if we all stopped to think a little harder? To have conversations with each other? What might the world look like? I’m Kinsey Grant and together, we’re gonna find out.

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