rolf's diary

Would you rent a friend?

In diary on 22. July 2010 at 20:37

I meet my friend Andy in a cafe. Over a coffee we chat about music, current events and the ups and downs of our working lives. We don’t spend a lot of time talking about our feelings or our relationship, or rehashing the past. It’s just not that kind of friendship. I prefer it that way, and I know Andy feels the same, because I’m paying him to feel the same. In fact, I’m paying him £40 an hour to feel the same.

Not so long ago, friendship belonged to a dwindling list of desirable outcomes – including happiness, wisdom and good weather – that money couldn’t buy. In a cold and indifferent world full of cold and indifferent strangers, a friend was something you had to make yourself. But no more: now you can purchase friendship at your convenience, by the hour. For a certain consideration, you can hire someone to go to a museum with you, or hang out at the gym, or keep you company while you shop. A stranger, you might say, is just a friend who hasn’t invoiced you yet.

via Would you rent a friend? | Life and style | The Guardian.

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