Ever looked at the things you do for your friends and thought: “I should get paid for this”?
Replying every two minutes to your bestie’s enthralling text messages detailing her day-to-day life. Smiling and nodding at the dress your friend is trying on whilst mentally burning every dress like it in the store.
Repeating over and over ‘you’re not fat, the dress is just slightly unflattering’ when said dress is worn and scorn. Listening – always with the listening.
Yep. I’ve just about had enough of doing all this for free.
The good news: apparently there’s a new friend-trend currently sweeping through New York social circles where rich benefactors actually hire people to be ‘paid friends’ (street slang: PF). The employer gets all the benefits of a proper friendship: company, conversation, a good case of the giggles, without the drawbacks of real life BFF-like arguments.
This from the Daily Mail:
The paid friends, or PF’s for short, are not platonic escorts. They are personal trainers, stylists, chefs, and chauffeurs who take their jobs to more congenial levels.
They offer rich benefactors all of the benefits of a friend’s companionship, without the drawbacks like arguments.
The entire concept comes straight out of an article from the New York Observer, in which numerous anonymous sources are quoted, stating the reasons as to why paid friends are so much better than real friends.
One notes that once you’ve had paid friends who don’t argue, “it’s actually quite hard to go back to real friends”.
Another reckons that normal friends are “often competitive” or “either resentful or bitter or ask for money”, so it’s good for rich, successful men to go for paid friends instead.
Think about it. These people are hiring friends to be whatever type of friend they so desire: shopping friend, uni friend, drunk friend, supportive friend, gym friend. Whatever (or whoever) they like!
But they get to forgo any of the usual bitching and moaning; or any of those awkward I-ruined-your-dress-out moments. Sounds good to me.
As one of the (anonymous) paid friend points out, it can be an emotionally complicated gig. But while occassionally feeling emasculated, after almost being the equivalent of someone’s pet monkey, he reckons there’s also something “reassuring” about it all:
You have these incredibly successful and wealthy people who are at the top of their game and should be so happy… And if they were so incredibly happy and satisfied, why would they need me to go to Hawaii to entertain them?”
This paid friend gig definitely sounds like something I could do.
Andy is an intern at Mamamia/iVillage who recently finished her Media & Communications degree at University of Wollongong. Apart from writing, she loves instagramming, experimental baking and laughing.
Would you buy friends? Would you sell your friendship?