I’m thinking of a new business venture. Basically you hire a man, but not like that, nothing untoward, don’t worry.
You hire a man, and he brings you chocolate and whispers the sweetest of nothings in your ear. This man will tell you how beautiful you are, how funny, how clever. He will plan surprise picnics, buy you books and take you to the theatre. He will leave you love notes to find around the house. He will hold your hand. He will cuddle in bed and watch trash TV. He will love America’s Next Top Model as much as you do, and The Great British Bake Off, and snort Pepsi out of his nose at Gogglebox. You will secretly worry that he’s developed strong feelings for Joey Essex, but you will understand.
He will roll his eyes every time you mention that girl who clearly hates you. He will point out the fact that she owns a pair of Crocs, and how that means that she obviously has no taste in anything. He will have every quality that you loved in your exes and none of the downsides. He will be punctual, kind, generous and easy-going, but just jealous enough to make you feel like he cares. He will be funny but have a deep hatred of puns. He will kidnap you for spontaneous trips to the beach, avec vintage picnic basket and cosy blanket. He will understand the importance of ambience and stash a supply of candles in his car. He will have a car and he will drive said car like a sensible human being who has no wish to die imminently.
He will not be overly neat, but he will know what a shower is and use it frequently. His hobbies will include chopping up firewood, reading Shakespeare and listening to you complain whilst soothing you with bubble baths and all the wine. He will have hair that straddles the line between Nazi skinhead and deadbeat hippy. He will have an obvious stomach because he appreciates food. He will cook with enthusiasm and clean up the inevitable mess. He will want to feed you and he will love your body, every last bulge and wobble of it. He will stroke you and grab you and tell you which bit of skin is his favourite. He will constantly change his mind about that.
He will not get angry or back you into corners. He will not point out your flaws. He will not smirk when he realises he’s upset you. He will not belittle your hobbies or complain about your friends. He will not shut you in or break you down. He will not demand more than you can give him. He will be content to be with you and only you. He will see your broken parts and will work with you to glue them back together, but only if you want to. He will know that even though you’re broken, you’re whole. He will want you as you are, because that is good enough.
Basically you hire a man. There is no searching, no waiting, no wanting, no hurting. There are no broken hearts or black eyes, no what-ifs or if-onlys. There is no by-the-time-I’m-thirty, no settling, no panic. There is no body clock, no soul-mate, no fairy-tale. There are no crushes, no affairs, no divorces. There is only supply and demand, to love and be loved in return. For a fee.