Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Rent A Friend....


In another shining example of cultural decline, I heard a report this morning on CNN about Owen Wilson.

After a couple of unsuccessful stays in rehab, he has decided to hire a sober buddy for $750.00 a day. This person will go places with him, stay with him, encourage him.... you know, what we used to call "being a friend".

For alcoholics, that buddy system was called "AA".

It doesn't entirely surprise me that in a culture that prides itself on marketcentricity and pragmatism, hiring a friend would be the next step. That way, there would be no social embarrassment.

I can see the ads now. I can see the phone book with a kindly face plastered larger than life, extolling the many offerings of the rent-a-friend. Tea and sympathy for a reasonable price. A companion for the movies? That would cost a bit more, especially if dinner comes with the deal. Ads would be featured late at night on television, before the infomercials.

An escort service without the sex.

Those who can't afford to hire from a reputable service can always peruse Craigslist.

~*

29 comments:

heartinsanfrancisco said...

It must be so hard being a young movie star, all that adulation, and money... oh, the pressures.

What's next, hiring a spouse? Kids?

What we need to do is hire ourselves a president. But I supposed that's another post entirely.

thailandchani said...

The sad thing is that nothing can truly surprise me anymore. Hiring a wife and kids or a husband and kids wouldn't even shock me anymore. :)

LOL

liv said...

I truly do feel bad for Owen Wilson. There seems to be an attitude in our culture that if you have money it trumps all else and that your emotional and social needs are thus eradicated. It's just sad to me that what looked like a supportive family surrounding Wilson can't take a break from their lives to be with him. Of course, not knowing his family and friend support group, it may very well be possible that hiring a mentor or someone who isn't as close as family would be, might be a good idea.

Gwen said...

Oh. My. God. Why didn't you tell me about this sooner, Chani? This is totally a job I could do. Be Owen Wilson's friend? Oh yes. Sign me right up.

Wait, you said without the sex, right? Let me rethink.

:)

MsLittlePea said...

This is a little sad. That he would have to hire someone, does he not have loved ones who would do this for free?

ThomasLB said...

I know John Belushi hired a bodyguard whose job was to keep him away from drugs. That didn't work.

I wonder if this is the same sort of deal, a combination nurse/babysitter who can keep an eye on him and notify someone if he starts to spin out of control.

It's sad that he doesn't have a single friend or family member he trusts to assume such a role.

meno said...

I just hope that it works, for his sake.

slouching mom said...

Oh, yuck. Just yuck.

That said, I do feel bad that because he was seriously depressed, his career may be over. Why does that need to be the case?

Open Grove Claudia said...

Well shoot Chani! I was going to apply for the position....

Snoskred said...

I don't think it'll work. The only person who can stop his drinking or drug use or whatever he is doing is himself. There must be something within him that he needs to deal with before he can do that.

Money is not everything, as we've seen so many times. People with a lot of money can be desperately miserable too. But the trouble for these young stars is all the yes people that surround them and enable them, and encourage them in their addictions and stupidities. :(

Having said that, a good blog friend of mine has cancer growing in her spine, hip and lung. This puts it all into a bit of perspective for me..

Snoskred
www.snoskred.org

Melanie said...

why the hell didn't he call me!? I could give him a few days with a four year old boy, and he would be just fine!

at about half the cost too. I am ready to be a "rent a friend"

PeterAtLarge said...

Hmmm... if that's the going price for friends, I can't afford too many myself. Good to hear from you in The Buddha Diaries, Chani. You're probably wise to steer clear of American politics. Unfortunately, I can't help myself from time to time. But at least I'm well into recovery from my earlier blog addiction: The Bush Diaries. Got tired of waking up with him in bed with me every morning. The Buddha is MUCH better company. Cheers, Peter

Aliki2006 said...

I love the idea of hiring a president, and I can think of any number of people I'd like to hire to do things for me.

Good grief--what ever happened to personal responsibility?

Molly said...

What is the human race coming to? How horribly sad to have to hire someone to do this for you. but unfortunately, it doesn't surprise me. People are so disconnected from each other these days......

Julie Pippert said...

I'm flabbergasted. And...a little jealous.

Tonight on NPR they did a story about Recovery High north of Boston, for drug addicted teens who want to go straight.

They started the school because too many recovering teens were dropping out to avoid temptation and peer pressure.

Who, what and how you surround yourself during recovery is key...sure, and paid companions to help with life's little needs aren't new (and no, that's not a euphemism...it really was a respectable job for people of good birth in need of income).

But I'm not sure what I think of this. He has a brother and family.

I can understand in that position---of such privilege and wealth---it's hard to know motives, so maybe this settles that.

I also think...maybe this is one more indicator of the increasing division of socioeconomic classes.

Still, it seems a little sad.

Julie
Using My Words

KC said...

That's totally sad that there was no real-life person for him to go to for this. I hope he finds his way.

crazymumma said...

What does it say about his life, his everyday life taht there is no one there to begin with.

Poor guy. As misguided and out of touch he may be, poor guy.

flutter said...

That is just tremendously sad.

jen said...

it's all so sad, isn't it. money doesn't buy you a thing.

mitzh said...

What Jen said...

It is truly sad that sometimes even you have all the money in the world you just can't buy the things that you truly need.

Christine said...

this is SO weird!

Amy York said...

That is so sad to me... I just always picture celebrities having tons and tons of friends surrounding them at all times. But in reality, it must be hard to find friends in that situation, unless you had them before... you know, when you were still a "little person". It would be hard to know if your friend really cared about you or just wanted to have that claim to fame. Anyway, poor Owen.

Emily said...

DUDE! This is the PERFECT job for me. I love being people's friends. Why didn't anyone tell me I could be a prostitute without having to have sex all the time?!

Emily said...

Oh, and not to seem completely stupid, but who is Owen Wilson?

Catherine said...

I think its sad that our society rents friends in so many areas - therapists, etc. We wouldn't be so empty if we were meeting these needs naturally.

BTW - this is not an anti-therapist comment - I am one myself, and I have one myself!

capacious said...

Most people (even friends and family) don't want to hang out with someone ALL the time (or fight with them about their bad habits), so I can understand him paying a caretaker. The guy DID just try to kill himself. I'm in the minority but I don't think it's so bad.

He's going to get sick of whoever it is, though, and tell them to go home. He'll still be alone with his demons. I'm sorry for him.

painted maypole said...

Owen, dude. I could use some cash. I'll be your sober friend for a mere $600 a day.

Parlancheq said...

$750/day?! I was going to volunteer to be Owen's buddy for free. But then you said there was no sex involved. Forget that. ;)

Mommahbear. said...

I would do it. I would work as a rented-friend (no sex). I work as a rented wife, already (I get the paycheques for the washing, cleaning, sorting, folding, organizing, driving, errand running) and I wouldn't mind at all, a lunch I could write off, while being paid to listen to someone who cared that I was actualy there. Sign me up.