Hey, single ladies, isn't it horribly embarrassing when you have to go anywhere alone? Movies? Restaurants? The bathroom? I mean, what the heck is UP with single ladies? WHERE on Earth is their MAN? Oh wait, wait ... this is 2013 America? Single women actually go outside by themselves and stuff? Well, let's just pretend you live in China then, where single ladies don't have their own Beyonce anthems. Or, if they do, they're not sung by Beyonce, but some little old spinster lady who is at her knitting wheel, crying for her lack of man and children. There, in China, unmarried women are apparently loathe to advertise to the world their man-less status, so they gwan head and hire themselves a rental boyfriend.
Rental boyfriends are supposedly all the rage in China, with young men raking in the dough renting themselves out for the evening to ladies who want to go out and have fun but, you know, not alone (the horror!).
One of the most popular places to bring a rental boyfriend is family reunions, where surely don't want to show up alone and have the family grill and flay her over her singlehood.
Young women hire the rental boys mostly to please anxious parents who might be worried about their daughters' wretched state of unmatrimony. Women brief the guys on their made-up story, i.e., where they met, how long they've been dating, etc. The price includes hand holding, a kiss, and an embrace. (But no more, ladies!!)
While this sounds like a fine idea for those rare occasions where you're going to be surrounded by nosy family members who will embarrass you with their probing single-phobic questions -- it seems like rental boyfriends are just getting young women to put off the inevitable, which is admitting that they are single.
Of course, I can't imagine being a girl in China, where if you aren't married by 23, you are considered "left on the shelf." I do not pretend to understand the pressure they are under. I thank god I live in a country, and in a city, where women are free to be single for as long as they choose, and if anyone has anything bad to say about it, they at least usually don't do it in front of you.
But it would be awesome if the women of China, instead of hiding behind a rental boy, quietly stood their ground and refused to be treated as second class citizens because of their marriage status. I won't judge them, because I'm thankfully not in their shoes. It's just a wish, a hope, a dream. In fact, there are times when I was in my early 20s when I wouldn't have minded a rental boy, especially for traveling to places like France and Italy, where a solo traveling blonde is grounds for the male population to badger you relentlessly.
Would you ever use a rental boy?
Image via Lisa Marie/Flickr