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"Boyfriend" hired online to please parents
2006-03-02 00:41:09 Shanghai Daily

BEIJING, March. 2 -- A local office worker is advertising online for a boyfriend to show off to her parents when they visit the city for a month in May.

In return for accompanying the woman and her parents around the city, the boyfriend will be rewarded with cold hard cash, not a warm snuggle session.

The woman, who only identified herself as Kelly, hails from a small city in Gansu Province and has been working at a real estate company in Shanghai for more than 2 years.

Although she feels quite comfortable with her single life, her parents are eager to see the 30-year-old settle down and tie the knot.

"My parents will come to Shanghai and stay for a month this May. To avoid being hassled by them all day, I decided to find a temporary 'boyfriend' to quiet them during the month," said Kelly.

To avoid possible problems with her rented boyfriend, Kelly listed 16 rules for candidates in her online post.

According to the agreement, the boyfriend is expected to spend two complete days with her parents, and he will only receive his 1,000 yuan (US$125) if they are satisfied when they leave Shanghai.

The agreement also spells out the age, and education level of qualified candidate, among other criteria.

"I don't want to pay after a failure, that's why I made out the agreement," said Kelly. "I know this is not a good idea, but there is no other way I can manage to make my parents happy."

She said dozens of men have responded to her ad, but many of them didn't really understand what she is looking for.

"Some people misunderstood my meaning, sending responses that are annoying," said Kelly, who said some men asked about becoming her real boyfriend. "I will continue with my plan until I have found the right person."

The plan might work in the short term, but could lead to more lies in the future.

"It's Kelly's right to do this and it could be regarded as a well-meaning lie, but I don't think it will solve her problem," said Hu Shoujun, a sociology professor at Fudan University. "It will need decades of new lies to cover up the original lie, and the parents are destined to find out the truth in the end."

(Source: Shanghai Daily)

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