Yes, we’ve all heard the saying: divorce, along with bereavement and moving house, is one of life’s most stressful experiences. You may feel a great sense of relief when that decree nisi finally becomes a decree absolute, or you may be left feeling confused and empty. But do you want to throw a party?
These days quite a few people want to do just that, it seems. Divorce parties rival divorce jewellery as one of the unorthodox new trends amongst separating couples in the US. A new article on the Huffington Post Divorce Blog gives a colourful list of suggestions for throwing the perfect post-separation event. Tips include:
*Giving your friends plenty of notice so that if they are uncomfortable with the idea of a divorce party, or even baffled by it, they can discuss it with you.
*Only inviting people who are positive about your split.
*Keeping the event light-hearted, with an emphasis on fun. How about dressing up as celebrity couples who have split?
*Holding the event in a bar or restaurant, to minimise the stress of organising the event.
To quote the article:
“The key to a good divorce party is no stress. You’re already dealing with court or negotiations, so skip on anything that sounds like too much work.”
Inevitably party planners and supply manufacturers have been quick to cash in. According to an article in Time late last year, sales of a popular line of divorce party supplies have boomed by 30 per cent in just three years, while a Las Vegas-based party planner has seen divorce party booking shoot up by 70 per cent.
Supplies available apparently range from relatively sedate ‘just divorced’ sashes through to slightly wilder products like voodoo dolls and ‘decapitated groom’ wedding toppers.
The Huffington Post article, by Kevin Chern, is sensible enough to acknowledge the fact that some people might struggle with the idea of celebrating an event usually associated with loss and sadness. And indeed, it is hard to image those who have been acrimoniously dumped by partners they still love being ready to throw a party, or indeed those people – and there are more than you may think – who tumble into depression and require antidepressants and counselling to move on with their lives.
But perhaps – just perhaps – they should consider a divorce party, however odd an idea it may seem at first glance. I think there is definitely something to be said for taking control of a situation like divorce. If it has been thrust upon you by circumstances or a former partner, it is all too easy to feel powerless and buffeted along by events beyond your control. Why not throw a party with some of your nearest and dearest and make a statement, both to yourself and to the world, that you are not a victim and you are very ready to move on with the rest of your life? Even if you don’t quite believe that at the time, a party could be an important first step in convincing yourself.
Divorce is a new beginning.