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Monday, August 15, 2022

And why not celebrate a separation?

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A few weeks ago, a video of a woman whose family had organized a surprise party to celebrate her recent divorce went viral on TikTok. It showed an event with balloons, music, food and drink that bore a strong resemblance to her birthday party. The main difference? Here on one of the walls of the enclosure you could read: “My first divorce.” The clip accumulates more than four million views and thousands of comments from users who applaud the act or are surprised at a celebration of this type. “Two centuries after Jane Austen and the only acceptable happy ending for a single woman’s fictional story is one that includes marriage,” noted writer Hadley Freeman. Happy endings in which, of course, the dissolution of the betrothal is not even considered, which until not so long ago was seen as a failure. A slab that weighed especially on the shoulders of women, whose primary mission in society was to raise a family. They were accused of being responsible, in the event that a marriage did not work out, and they were also the ones who carried all the prejudices of the ‘divorced’ label. A divorce is usually a process that is received between feelings of grief or loss, so for many it can still be surprising that a party is organized to celebrate this end. But, as strange as it may seem, celebrating a divorce party is an increasingly widespread practice. “We had heard of these types of events before, but until last year we had never received any requests. Lately there is more movement, it is becoming fashionable, “says Marta Odériz, founder of the Madrid agency Kubalu Events, who points out that, normally, it is usually women who request them. These types of celebrations began to become popular in the United States more than a decade ago at the hands of Christine Gallagher, author of the book The Divorce Party Handbook and organizer of bridal showers in Los Angeles since 2008. She pointed out in this magazine to the delight of a celebration with loved ones: «Before, people who got divorced were alone, ashamed of a failure, which increased stress. The party is a way to bring it all out into the open, while friends help you get through this difficult stage of life. Rituals can be very powerful and effective, which is why they have been carried out throughout the history of mankind. The community can be very comfortable. We are not alone”. Not everyone sees it from her perspective: “Some people have sent me hate messages telling me they are in bad taste,” Gallagher acknowledged in the British newspaper The Guardian. “They have a right to their opinion, but I think the process is healthy. People can feel alone and stigmatized, and there can be a long legal process. A party makes up for that by allowing you to deal with the emotional side. One night doesn’t solve your problems, but it’s a big step forward.” And it is that, as the organizer says, all the great transitions of life —such as birth, marriage or even death— are accompanied by some type of ceremony or ritual. Why shouldn’t the same thing be done with the divorce? Celebrities like Katy Perry have also played a role in making these types of celebrations more visible. The American singer divorced British comedian Russell Brand in 2011 after 14 months of marriage. As she herself revealed in an interview for the American edition of Vogue magazine, her then-husband asked her for a divorce by text message on New Year’s Eve. Months after formalizing the separation, the interpreter organized a party at her house, bringing her friends together to celebrate her singleness, coinciding with the date of what was to be her second wedding anniversary. An intimate date that she assured that she did not do it as an attack on her ex-partner, but to cheer herself up and face that day with optimism. That is exactly what the musician Jack White, ex-half of the White Stripes and his ex, the sought-after model and singer Karen Elson, did. They surprised her friends and family with an invitation welcoming them to her “sixth anniversary and divorce” party. «In honor of all the time shared we celebrate a party. An evening in Nashville to reaffirm our friendship and celebrate our past and future with our close friends and family.” Interruption, cessation, uncoupling… the language of heartbreak mutates as pre-established conceptions do. On many occasions, it is not so much about celebrating the end of the marriage, but about an opportunity to surround yourself with loved ones in a difficult personal moment. This is how María (her fictitious name) recounts her experience, who acknowledges that, without making it public or telling her ex-partner, she decided to gather her relatives after her divorce to feel supported. “At no time did I think of doing something that could humiliate my ex-husband. I wanted it to be something positive that would mark the beginning of a new life, to have the opportunity to thank my friends and family for being there and to have a good time together.” Odériz compares the growing trend of divorce parties with what happened with baby showers, a celebration in which the sex of the baby is revealed and which also originates in the United States. «At first it was something that was hardly done in Spain, we received very specific requests and the people who attended this type of event were amazed that a party was held to reveal the sex of the baby. But little by little they became normalized, something similar to what is happening with divorce parties. Although he points out that the organization of this type of event hardly differs from a conventional party, it does have some practical characteristics such as what he calls ‘breaking the bond’. “A ribbon is placed across the room and cut by the divorcing person as a symbol that the marriage is over.” In addition, the catering also usually contains details of this type of event. The hashtag #DivorceParty (divorce party) accumulates more than 60,000 publications on Instagram, where you can see numerous images of cakes and sweets that include messages such as “Happy divorce” or “Single.” In a society that often views divorce as a setback, these types of celebrations can offer recently divorced people the opportunity to recover their narratives and put an end to a stage in their lives. Could they become popular in Spain? Given the growing demand, experts think so. “We are at that moment when people are starting to talk about it, when people are starting to ask what it is. It is likely that in a few years it will have become fashionable and become one more event like, it could be a bachelorette party”, predicts Odériz. Continue reading This is the job of a divorce party planner

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– Article Written By @Paloma Alfageme from https://smoda.elpais.com/placeres/fiestas-de-divorcio-celebrar-fin-del-matrimonio-tendencia/

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