There should be a service where single women can rent a man for a week, or even a month.

No, not that kind of man…

I’m talking about renting a MAN – one with integrity and honor. The kind of man who doesn’t abuse or neglect or cheat. The kind of man who can balance an adequate sense of self with thoughtful consideration of others. The kind of man who can stay on the same TV channel for five consecutive minutes…

Rent-a-Man would give us time to experience what healthy relationships actually are. Too many of us honestly have no idea what one is supposed to feel like – we just keep man-hopping from one jerk to the next, falling into the same patterns, baffled by the same results.

With Rent-a-Man, we could try on a new dynamic and take it for a spin. We could be relationship ninjas, training ourselves in the Arts of Male Decency. Imagine allowing ourselves to be treated to simple joys, no matter how foreign those special words actually sound when he says, “Honey, what would you like to watch?”

There would be flaws, of course – Rent-a-Man is only human, after all. The point is to distinguish between normal, run-of-the-mill flaws and those that leave you wanting to take a sabbatical and stop looking altogether…

With Rent-a-Man, we wouldn’t be wasting our lives looking for more of the same. Instead, we could spend our sabbaticals healing and preparing for what is to come:

The Real One.

The one that never makes you pay…

(Now that we’ve got that settled, who wants to talk about renting to own…?)

13 thoughts on “Rent-a-Man

  1. Love this post. Both funny and provocative. Your theme reminds me of the Kate Bolick article in Atlantic Monthly, When I read that article, many of her ideas sounded familiar; I had heard them from our 35-year-old daughter.

    Bolick claims that demographic shifts in the relative employment and socioeconomic status of men and women are partly or even mostly to blame. On average, women of your generation are both better educated and better employed than those of mine. The reverse is true for men. Fewer earn a college degree, and the number of good non-degree jobs in manufacturing and construction have dwindled over time.

    I wonder though if the problem is real or incorrectly perceived. If 50% of all marriages in my generation failed, and if that percentage is not much different today, might today’s dating dilemmas be no different?
    One thing does seem different to me, though I have no data to support it, just intuition. My generation wanted to be married, so we jumped in with both feet. And even when the inevitable divorces occurred, we looked forward to trying again.

    I have no solution to offer. In fact, I think your idea is the best I’ve read. It may even be that the men you complain of might like a similar service, Rent-A-Woman, so that maybe they could avoid making the same dumb mistakes over and over again (of course, I may be giving them too much credit).

    The more I think about it, maybe there should be a remedial service. If men, and their shortcomings, represent the bulk of the problem (and I’m inclined to think this is true), then maybe someone should start a Train-A-Man service. It could be run by happily married men whose wives provide a good reference (I’m sure women would love to be trainers, but if the guys aren’t listening to you, I doubt they’d listen to your mother).

    By the way, I’m not volunteering.

    • What a wonderfully thoughtful response – and a fabulous article! I’ve certainly pondered the shifts in male and female relationship roles. I’ve often wondered just how far women’s lib has actually gotten us – not that I’m not all for it myself. It’s just that the roles have been blurred to the point that no one seems to know where he/she fits in.

      I especially love your idea of Train-a-Man. Seems something fathers would have done at one point; however, since Generation X-ers (like myself) seem to be the second generation of children of divorced parents, I wonder if that is becoming somewhat of a lost art as well.

      I would like to make a quick disclaimer that I’m not male-bashing, here. (Not that you ever implied it. I just don’t ever want to come across that way.) I suppose one could say I’m “jerk-bashing”, but I take full responsibility for my choices; I just truly think that if I’d ever known what a healthy relationship was supposed to feel like, I would have chosen differently…

      Thanks again for your time and for your contributions! I look forward to further discussion!

  2. Hey! I love the idea of Rent-a-Man although you KNOW I really do have one of the best living in my house.

    My brother-in-law sent be an e-mail the other day about women who could buy a husband from The Husband Store. Each floor offered a better man. Floor 1 men with jobs, floor 2 men with jobs and love kids, floor 3 men with jobs, love kids and are extremely good looking … At each floor the woman looking for the perfect husband thought MMMMmmm What else? and continued. Finally on the 6th floor it said, “You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.”

    This followed:
    To avoid gender bias charges, the store’s owner opened a New Wives store just across the street.The first floor had wives that love sex. The second floor had wives that love sex and have money and like beer. The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited.

    I’m not sure what this little story proves, but, the older I get, the more I find that many men I’ve known for a l-o-n-g time and was absolutely sure weren’t “typical” actually thought only of sex, drank too much beer and adored women who had more money than sense.

    Cheers! Lish

    • Love the illustration! You’d think “settling” and “expecting too much” would be at opposite ends of the spectrum, yet there seems to be such a fine line between the two…

  3. Just googled ‘Rent a man’ and your blog came up. Soo funny and exactly what I was thinking. Now where to find my man to rent?

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