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Wined and dined! Man creates life-sized 'boyfriend' from wine boxes

An Oregon man's viral photo series takes a light-hearted approach to being single and is striking a chord among frustrated daters.
/ Source: TODAY

What to do when you go through a bad break-up and drink a ton of wine? Why, make a pretend boyfriend out of the empty wine boxes, of course.

That’s what one man in Portland, Oregon, did after some unsuccessful attempts to find a boyfriend after re-entering the dating scene. Michael James Schneider, a 44-year-old artist and photographer, told TODAY FOOD that he got the idea after a rough break-up — and the many leftover boxes of wine that he consumed.

To make his man, Schneider started with a metal framework shaped like a person, which he found at a Halloween store and, using plenty of superglue and empty wine boxes, created a companion he calls “Box Wine Boyfriend.”

Box wine boyfriend has since shown up in a variety of photos (taken by friend Niscelle Ward) on his various social media accounts in poses Schneider says were inspired by the curated, “too perfect” pics of couples he sees on Instagram. “I wanted to riff on that a little and good-naturedly mock it,” he said. The hand-crafted boyfriend has made appearances at the grocery store, cooking with Schneider in the kitchen and even meeting the artist's cat, Ned. You know, all the things regular couples do.

It appears Schneider's crafty move has touched a nerve. He told TODAY that people are really identifying with his boxed-wine lover, commenting on his posts that they might resort to the idea themselves if they don’t find a significant other soon. It's also resulted in quite a lot of funny responses.

Schneider may have even attracted a real-life love match.

Schneider, who also blogs about his dating life and other matters of the heart, is known among his followers for his tongue-in-cheek, quirky staged photos of himself in what he describes as "humiliating, embarrassing and compromising" situations.

“It’s the anti-selfie,” he told TODAY Food. “It’s kind of a commentary on what happens when we start glorifying the most humiliating situations we find ourselves in,” instead of presenting the best of ourselves all the time.

When it comes to wine, post-breakup or not, Schneider told TODAY Food he prefers cabernet sauvignon and Oregon-produced pinot noir and is totally happy to reach for a wine box, especially when he needs quantity over quality, like when friends are visiting — or when he needs to “self-medicate.” Turns out, boxed wine stays fresh longer than bottled!

But, no worries, folks. Schneider and his box wine boyfriend have no plans to break up anytime soon. Schneider added that he will be sharing more photos of the couple’s “perfect” life in the coming days.