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Need a fake girlfriend to take home on Thanksgiving? Look no further

Words by Molly Longman

Thanksgiving: A time for family, food and preemptive Black Friday strategizing.

But when you take family out of the equation, the other working parts can seem a lot less desirable (and delicious). That was the case this year for Dani Mortimer, an Iowa transplant living in Johnston.

Mortimer, 25, originally from Florida, discovered her work schedule wouldn’t allow her to go home for the holidays to be with her family. All of her friends were going out of town. It was looking like her Turkey Day would be all take-out and Christmas movie reruns.

Until she decided to be proactive. After seeing some jokes floating around Twitter about guys saying they needed fake girlfriends to take home to their families, Mortimer decided that she’d provide them with an option. She didn’t have other plans.

Mortimer took to the Des Moines Reddit page, authoring a post that read:

“Work makes it impossible for me to travel to my family for this year’s Thanksgiving festivities. My friends are all traveling out of town for turkey day so it’s impossible for me to mooch off of them for some good eats. Are you in the DSM area and in need of mock s/o? I’m the girl for the fake pseudo-relationship of your dreams.

About Me: 25 years old


Average sized/Skinny

College Educated

Gainfully employed

Definitely decent looking, at the very least

If you need a ‘beard’, I got you. Someone to piss [off] your lily white conservative relatives, I’m game (I’m a black person). A date to make you look like less of a “loser” get at me!

Edit: OKAY Y’ALL I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT I HAVE TO ADD THIS: This is not sexual. Really. I’m not gonna bang you. Max I’ll do is hold a hand to give the impression of romance.”

Mortimer says the post was motivated by both her lack of plans and her love for turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing.

“I thought, ‘Why not give it a try,” Mortimer said. “I just really like Thanksgiving food. It’s so delicious and awesome, and I didn’t want to miss out on a family meal. That was really my motivation.”

Mortimer said that she’s making sure to screen candidates from Reddit who’ve been direct messaging her with family dinner invites. She’s gotten a few inappropriate messages and Snapchats, which prompted her to add the disclaimer at the bottom of the post saying no sexual favors would be extended after the meal.

“One person on there asked me to marry them, and I was like, ‘You don’t even know what I look like,’” Mortimer said. “They were oddly excited about it… I would say nothing too crazy’s happened because of the post though.”

Although Mortimer’s heard back from a substantial number of people, she says she hasn’t committed to any family dinners where she’d play the role of a fake girlfriend. In typical “Iowa nice” fashion, the post has brought her more friendly offers to make plans around Des Moines.“It’s mostly folks who also don’t have family plans that asked to meet me in public at a Chinese buffet, or we’ll start a conversation and be like, ‘You like beer, I like beer, we should meet at a craft beer festival.’”

I’m just trying to make the best of what could be viewed as a bad situation.”

-Dani Mortimer

If she finds the right person, Mortimer says she’d rather play the role of a fake girlfriend and go to an authentic meal. She’d give her all to the role. Even if that would mean creating a plausible back-story and sticking to it.

“I would take my role very seriously,” Mortimer said. “I kind of want to do it because I think it would be interesting.”

Mortimer has no regrets about the post. If anything, it’s introduced her to a new group of people outside her regular circle of friends.

“I’m just trying to make the best of what could be viewed as a bad situation,” Mortimer said. “No one wants to not be able to be with their family during the holidays, but if you find yourself in a situation where you can’t be, I think you should try and put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to be lighthearted.”

No matter how Mortimer decides to spend this Thanksgiving, she’ll have a good story to tell around the table next year.