Wednesday, January 21, 2009

An Indecent Proposal

These few days young people are fleeing Beijing by the thousands and taking trains home to see their parents for chun jie, or Spring Festival.

And some take the opportunity to bring home their girlfriend or boyfriend to their parents for approval before popping the question.

If sons or daughters come home empty-handed, they may get a hard time from the parental units about time ticking away and their desire to hold a sunzi or grandchild in their arms.

Which is why some young people are now resorting to hiring a girlfriend/boyfriend for the Spring Festival.

In a newspaper article, a young man who works in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province has put out an ad online seeking a "girlfriend" for five days during the new year and he'll pay her 6,000RMB ($878).

He's looking for a girl who has "a kind heart, high level of personal integrity, and good communication skills".

And the response has been swift -- after three days some 400 women are interested in the proposal.

He's even set out a contract, describing the daily schedule, payment method, and safety precautions.

He's not the only one who has done this and apparently more women than men 25-40 years old are seeking someone to put on an act in front of their parents to pretend they're a couple and give the impression they may tie the knot.

What's also shocking is how many people are interested in helping others with their scam, or they're only interested in doing it for the money.

Why are young people going to such lengths to pretend they're in a relationship when they really aren't? Can't they just tell their parents straight out that they have yet to find "the one" or that they're too busy at work to meet anyone? What's wrong with that?

Instead they turn to an elaborate scheme to give their parents some kind of false hope.

Or perhaps they're secretly hoping they will get along with this "partner" and something genuine may blossom during the Spring Festival.

Either way it's crazy desperation that can only lead to more problems that will need more solutions.

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