Jun 13 2011 9:08am

For the Love of...a Divorce Party?

Last Friday, White Stripes guy Jack White and his model wife, Karen Elson, threw a party to celebrate...their divorce.

The invite reads:

Please help us celebrate together his anniversary of the making and breaking of the sacred union of marriage with our best friends and animals.

In a statement, they say,

“We remain dear and trusted friends and co-parents to our wonderful children Scarlett and Henry Lee. We feel so fortunate for the time we have shared and the time we will continue to spend both separately and together watching our children grow.”

Apparently divorce parties are the new thing, especially if the pair is rich and famous, such as White and Elson. Edgar Bronfman and his wife threw a divorce party, and events companies are offering divorce party services to help bring closure to splitting couples.

While this kind of amicability is a lot better for everybody involved, it’s not necessarily good for romance novels—because if everyone’s all okay with everybody else, you won’t have the vengeful ex, or the drama, or the inability to trust, etc.

Although—just imagine what hijinks you could have if you met someone new at your own divorce party. Hmmm.

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Carmen Pinzon
1. bungluna
Hmm, I don't think divorce parties will be stardad features in romances any time soon, though maybe some chick-lit author could develop the "meet your new mate" at one story. I would like it if more romances depicted the exs in a more rounded way. I get tired of the super-villain ex; why exactly did you marry 'em in the first place?
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
@bungluna: I agree, if the ex is so awful, what made you possibly like them in the first place? Unless you're an idiot, which in some novels is a distinct possibility. I agree, the divorce party isn't likely to become a common romance novel trope, but it could be a fun jumping-off point for certain types of books.
3. Jarvis
All divorces should be like this. haha.
Louise Partain
4. Louise321
I guess I'm just way too old school, but I find this style of divorce means the marriage bond was never there. Amicable partings indicate that there was never any feelings deep enough for hearts to be ensnared.
Carmen Pinzon
5. bungluna
@Louise - I disagree with you. My parents had what could be called an amicable divorce and stayed a united front for the sake of us. Untill I met my husband and heard the horror sotries of his parents' divorce, I thought all parents were mature adults who acted in the best interest of their family. Whatever internal forces destroy the marriage bond, responsible adulst should manage to deal, if nothing else, for the sake of the kids. Now, as to throwing a party to celebrate, that's another story.
Louise Partain
6. Louise321
@bungluna -- when I said "this style of divorce" I was talking about the party. When I said "amicable" I was talking about this style of divorce. My parents' divorce was similar to your parents' divorce. I would never say the bond was not deep at least on one side of the marriage. But nobody felt like celebrating.
Megan Frampton
7. MFrampton
@Louise321 I think the divorce party speaks more to the kind of people these two are rather than the kind of marriage they had. It's the kind of post-hippie thing indie scenesters would do. Plus I bet it made the kids feel better about it all.
Louise Partain
8. Louise321
@ MFrampton as a child of divorce, I am not sure anything makes it that much better, but I also would have hated to be lumped with the "animals."

I'm sorry, I know you can't force people to stay in a marriage that they don't want to stay in, and I actually grew up in the make love not war, etc., era but for my money divorce, like the death of love, stinks. You can wrap it up in a party and sooth yourself saying it's best for everyone, but I am watching my niece and nephew and their father go through it right now, and I'll say it again. Divorce, be it ever so amicable, stinks and no party will make it smell pretty. I know I'm probably walking all over some very tender feelings right now, but there it is, just like the only friend I had whose parents were also divorced told me when my father left, "Divorce stinks. But you can play one of them off the other and get whatever you want." Yeah, that stinks, too.
Megan Frampton
9. MFrampton
@Louise321: Oh, I am not arguing that it does make it better, just that perhaps the parents wanted to make it better by throwing a party! Like you and @bungluna, my parents had an amicable divorce; the most they argued about was who would get the Creedence Clearwater Revival LPs. But it was still wrenching for me, as their kid.
It is does stink, it is awful, but I appreciate the effort that some of these parents are making to not make it seem as awful as it really is.
Louise Partain
10. Louise321
@MFrampton: CCR LPs? LOL

Do you think these parties are really about the kids? If I remember correctly, my parents had to split their friends as well as their family. My dad's mom was grief stricken because she loved my mom but my mom thought it was better if she just took care of my dad.

It sounds like a get together and see that you can be friends with us both type of party. Do you think they both sported new spouses? I just think smoothing over everything with a party doesn't give the kids an outlet for grief and anger, but puts them on display and makes them look churlish if they don't want to play along. Maybe some of the parents are trying to make it better, but it is more likely the ones who are going along with the party idea rather than making waves that would hurt the kids.
Megan Frampton
11. MFrampton
@Louise321 I do think you're right as to the outcome, but of course the parents wouldn't be that prescient.
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