by Kenneth Justice
~ Last night I shared a train with a Sugar Daddy, his Sugar Baby, a young woman whose parents are dead, a conductor who kept forgetting what car he was in, and a few other strange characters. I’m not sure how I keep finding myself sitting next to such unusual people during my travels, but last night was perhaps one of the strangest trips to date.
People are lonely
For nearly two years I’ve been writing about the loneliness and depression that has become an epidemic throughout the Western World, last night’s train ride was more confirmation that people all over the place simply want friends. The Sugar Daddy who sat behind me (his sugar baby sat in front of me) even admitted as much to me, “I pay her to be my friend” he said. Emphatically they denied that they have sex, “He’s never asked me to sleep with him once, he’s never even touched me inappropriately” she said
Their arrangement is simple; he gives her money every week, takes her on shopping sprees, bought her a car and maintains it for her, and takes her on trips when she wants to go out of town. In exchange she sets aside huge blocks of time to hang out with him at dinner or at her house….and she listens, “Oh my god can this dude talk!” she said, “He’ll talk my head off eight straight hours every Thursday when he comes over, I barely get a word in!”
Watching them interact with each other during the seven hour train ride, they acted like a brother and sister who would bicker, make fun of each other, yet had an affectionate level of respect for each other. Although, how much respect she could have for the dude I’m not really sure; after all she’s taking his money every week simply to be his friend.
Whenever the Sugar Daddy became distracted in conversation with the doctor sitting next to him in his row, she would start whispering to me how her friends all believe she should simply have sex with him and marry the dude,
“My friends think I should take him for all he’s worth. He’s got six cars, a big house, and if I married him I’d be financially set for the rest of my life” she said, “But I’m not attracted to him at all! You see what he looks like and you see me, do you think the two of us would ever date in real life?” she asked
It’s a strange world in which people pay others to be their friend. If we’re going to be honest, isn’t that what most of the counseling profession is; people who are paid to be friends and listen?
Working in the human service field for so long I had a front row seat to see how lonely people were; many of the people who came to the rehab clinic I worked at were lonely more than anything. Sure, many of them had addiction problems, however the same story I heard time-and-again was that every weekend they were bored and lonely so they ended up at the bar or out looking for drugs to kill the time.
“I feel so guilty taking his money, I actually thought I was going to have to put out this weekend at the hotel, but not once did he even suggest that we sleep together” she said
I was so enthralled with this strange dude who would pay a chick to be his friend that I got my calculator out and started adding up all his expenses over the past year. At first she thought I was being rude, but then even she started wondering how much the total output would register;
—-) $1200 Spring shopping spree
—-) $7500 cash throughout the year
—-) $6000 automobile purchase
—-) $3000 per year for her gas (he fills up her tank each week)
—-) $1000 Summer shopping spree
—-) $3000 Weekend trip (the one they were returning from)
—-) $7500 Restaurant bill (they go out to dinner three times a week)
That was a mere sampling of the things she could think of off the top of her head, I’m sure the entire list is quite a bit longer.
As I sat and pondered all the money this dude was dishing out for a friend all I could think about was one simple thought, I’d be his friend for a whole lot less money. In fact, I don’t even charge my friends at all. Although it is nice when they buy me a cup of coffee.
Categories: Culture & Society