Have you ever thought about renting a friend? I saw an article about this on the BBC news website recently and found it quite amusing.
Why on earth would somebody rent a friend, I wondered? What possible value could you be getting for your money, and would it not be better if you had real friends to hang out with instead? Could this option only be for people with bad social skills? Or is it like a cheap way of getting a shrink? And how does one qualify?
Though there is a website that handles this renting process, I didn’t want to visit it until I played around with the idea a little bit for myself. I mean, it had to be for people with no jobs and they needed to be ‘friends’ to make some cash right? Because according to the site, renting a friend costs Sh800 an hour…not bad!
Tucked in alongside the musing was an important reflection: who are my friends and what ‘circle’ of friends am I a part of? Did they subscribe to my goals and ideals and were we truly friends?
The truth is that maybe we have been renting friends all along!
Life in the concrete jungle is quickly becoming so fast paced and in order to succeed or just be a step ahead, you often find you have to ditch ‘real’ friends once in many whiles to meet with those that put money in your pocket.
These friends dictate your mornings, noons and nights. You make sure that you have enough credit for a lengthy conversation with them, pick up calls way past your bedtime and sometimes compromise your principles to keep a smile on their faces – and the Sh800 in your pocket.
Then when you are in despair or in need an emotional connection; that is when then ‘real’ friends pop up. The problem is that your real friends are also real people and got substitutes while you were away. Some of them might have rented friends of their own!
A few days later, I did take a look at the website and realised that renting a friend might not be such a bad idea if you want to learn new tricks and or meet new people in other ‘circles of friends’. It is inevitable, but it is imperative to retain those who actually give a care about you.
So, do you have friends? If not, there are three Kenyan profiles on the rentafriend website.