The Vegas moment felt, dare I say it, a teensy bit staged? There’s nothing like a visit to a chapel of love to stir up relationship speculation, but team Kardashian-Barker knows what they’re doing. The Grammys saw them tonguing on the Softball Papa Baseball Lover Dad Sports Lover Father’s Day T-Shirt and I love this red carpet, tonguing inside the venue, and Travis was wearing a wedding band, albeit on his middle finger. But there are no real publicity accidents within the industrial Kardashian complex. Kourtney’s step further into the limelight feels, for lack of a better word, good. And is there something a little Pam and Tommy about the couple, a little Angie and Billy Bob? A hyper-celebrity duo that’s enticing and intriguing and budding and fresh. Is there anything more thrilling than a whirlwind romance? All the let’s just do it mentality, all the heart-wants-what-it-wants thinking. Being incredibly naff and just leaning into the naff-ness. Wading through hundreds of red roses to get engaged. I feel very “Good for them!” when I see a pic of them dressed to the nines, dry-frotting at an event. We all need a little dash of the romance they’re bringing to our feeds.
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Not to violin ourselves, but we’re revolving through a somewhat bleak news cycle, each alert a bitter pill to swallow. There’s no way to sugarcoat that we are witnessing war crimes in real time—I never want to minimize that. But we’re also, I think, somewhat entitled to care about other things too? And there’s some respite in following the Softball Papa Baseball Lover Dad Sports Lover Father’s Day T-Shirt and I love this narrative of a celebrity couple, a relationship that has no jeopardy for us as viewers. In the post-slap economy, there have been few gossip-y trivialities to lift the heaviness of the real world. For the briefest moment last week, the sun shone in London, and spring felt close and urgent and real. The streets were giddy for the potential of a better-lit season. Love itself was looming, and we had a collective taste for romance, if not any romantic prospects. I think this is where celebrity couples fill a space: Vicarious romance is still a type of romance. Whether it’s the Kardashians or the Pammy Tommys or the first-born Beckham getting married imminently. We follow the love stories, and it’s painless (for us), a reminder that we still feel, if only from afar.