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The family romance of neurotics

In the April 30 2018 New Yorker is an article about a phenomenon in Japan where they rent families (A Theory of Relativity by Elif Batuman). They don't rent out their own families but rather use a service that rents out actors to play a wife or daughter, a husband, child or a grandchild. Even wedding guests.

I can't believe such a thing exists.

It's both genius and deeply depressing. It seems like a band aid fix for the broken leg problem of loneliness.

You can even rent a thinner wife for work functions. WTF? I wonder if it works in the Japanese culture because of the need to save face. Instead of asking your wife to drop a few, just rent the replacement hot wife and impress your friends!

It's all so strange and the opposite of long term happiness. I wonder what happens if you get in a fight with the rental husband - do you get another rental? Apparently you can marry your rental. Is that rent to own? The funniest part is that you can rent a variety of handsome men to weep. Apparently it's good closure for break ups and divorces. Or if your husband wants an apology from the guy you had an affair with, and he's not willing, there's a rental for that too.

Affair apology guy rental???? Dorothy, we are most certainly not in Kansas any more.

The owner of one of the family rental business said the name was inspired by an article written by Freud - The Family Romance of Neurotics - where Freud discussed children imagining their real parents to be royalty and those with them were really imposters.

Isn't it ironic? Faking a family to feel less alone.

It just seems like the absolute loneliest thing in the world.

#NewYorker #Freud #Rentalfamily