It's official!

It's official!
David Stubbs Photography

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Feeling Lonely? Why Not Rent-A-Friend?

I get daily e-mails showing me the best deals in Chicago, because I'm determined to not pay full price for anything. As I was perusing one the other day, I noticed all the usual suspects like "50% of body waxing" (I hope they do upper lips!) 40% off food at some hole-in-the-wall restaurant, and then I saw one I wasn't expecting... Traveling and don't want to see the sights alone? Rent-a-friend with a 1-year membership for $33! (Normally $69.95)

Um, what?

So I googled this, and found out there really is a company called Rent a friend, where you do just pay someone to go to dinner with you or a ball game- one lady even paid someone to come over and scrap book with her (I'm guessing she owns a lot of cats.) The website stresses it's not a dating or escort service, it's just a place to find friends.

MSNBC did a piece on this and interviewed a social neuroscience researcher who thought it might be a good idea, but says it wouldn't replace "meaningful face-to-face interactions." Duh. Don't you think people who are feeling lonely before and then decide to pay for a friend are really going to just feel more lonely? What happens if someone asks, "Oh, so how did you two meet?" That's awkward.

Moral of the story: I think this is great news for all us, because it's obvious we can make money inventing just about anything in this country! (Pet rock anyone? Reality TV? Bottled water? Snuggies?) 

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