It was a day I remember dreading for weeks. The upcoming “Father Daughter Dance” at my school. It was a pretty big deal in my community. However, my father had just moved five hours away a few months ago to live with his new family. None of my other friends came from divorced families; it was still a new and taboo concept in our corner of the world. Yet, there was nothing I could do to avoid needing a father’s arm to hang onto in just a few short weeks.
I could see it already. The girls were getting all excited. They even had a father daughter sale day at the dress shop in the mall. If you bought your dress for the dance with your father you could get an extra discount. What, your father can’t make it, sorry you have to pay the full amount. I remember my friends telling me how they were matching their dresses to their father’s ties. How their father was going to get them a lovely corsage. My mother was even more distraught than I, consumed with guilt. Her plan was to take me out for a special diner. “Just the two of us” she said. Yes, I wanted to be part of a twosome, but I wanted my father, not her. We went out for the special dinner as all my girlfriends went to twirl with their fathers. My mother said something profound to me at dinner, that if she could she would have done anything to have me go to that dance, even rent me a father for the day. I laughed and ordered and ice cream.
How I wished that she could in fact rent me a father, I was too angry to even want my own. I wanted a father I could rent and tell him specifically what his duties as my father would be. What a great idea, I thought. Myself, and others like me could rent a father, or mother, for those milestones like father daughter or mother son dances! Now as an adult, the answers to my childhood wish have come true. There is a website called Rentafriend.com. On Rentafriend.com you can find a father or mother for rent if needed. Simply look through the profiles of people for hire in your area, and then set up a rental agreement! Of course, I’d have rather my parents not divorced, but I’ve learned to accept that now. But as a child in the wake of a traumatic divorce, it would have been nice to have an outlet like Rentafriend.com to rent myself a father if the need was there.