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Blended Family Friday: Divorce Parties

When Jason and I first split up, it naturally happened that I surrounded myself with people in similar life situations (read: I felt like an asshole hanging out with married couples, so I stuck with the newly single and freshly tattooed). And it was in this season of my life where I got invited to a lot of divorce parties. What’s a divorce party? It’s a party thrown to commemorate the official day of divorce.

To get divorced amicably, like Jason and I did (thank the zesty cheese Dorito gods) the separated couple agrees to a bunch of shit on paper, signs it, sends it to the courts where it sits on a stack of papers on the judge’s desk until he/she gets around to stamping it with his/her approval and then the divorce becomes official within 31 days of said stamp.

To get divorced in a not-so-friendly manner like Andrew and Wendy did, it can take years and years and years of Supreme Court battles, gobs and gobs of money, and a really, really sore bum. Just when everybody is hanging by a thread within seconds of complete and utter destruction, the judge stamps the bullshit and again, within 31 days of said stamp, divorce is granted.

Nevertheless, no matter how two people get there, some people choose to party it up upon arrival.

I remember showing up to Lora’s divorce party with a dozen eggs, a bottle of wine, and a Sharpie. We went outside and I got her to write down all the things that she needed to let go of. She wrote on the eggs things like, “fear” and “pain” and then she threw them at some…stuff. The divorce party was healing for her, and I was her maid of honour (I took pictures and held them as blackmail material as any good friend would do).

I’ve always struggled with the notion of a divorce party because I hate divorce; why would I want to celebrate it? But when Andrew and Wendy’s divorce became official on the 16th of this month, I had an epiphany and you know what? It felt a little bit like closure. Like an open casket at a funeral. And all of a sudden I craved crustless egg salad sandwiches and spinach dip.

A divorce party doesn’t have to be disrespectful. It shouldn’t be. People don’t show up to the memorial service of someone loathsome but rather they show up with a soft heart, one that is repentant and forgiving, one that sees no wrongs, or at least doesn’t see them as clearly as they see the good and kind things. And they show up with crustless egg salad sandwiches.

Okay, so…can we get drunk now?

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Susie @ SuzLyfe May 22, 2015, 6:52 am

    I can’t imagine divorce. Period. Friendly or otherwise, particularly with children involved. But you all manage it so well. Seriously, in awe of the grace and style (though I’m sure you all have your moments) .

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com May 22, 2015, 7:19 am

      Well, the key word is “manage.” It’s like a rollercoaster. Well, no… not exactly that fun. It’s more like the Gravatron–that indoor spinning ride that whips you around in circles and then spits you out just in time to puke all over the cement beside the garbage can.

  • Beth May 23, 2015, 7:17 pm

    Beautiful post! I can’t imagine how tough something like that must feel, but I do know a couple of divorced folks who felt a little abandoned by their married friends when they got divorced. It must be comforting to have something like a party to remind you that you do still have friends who care very much about your happiness. You’re a good friend, Suzy!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com May 24, 2015, 7:20 am

      It’s not that my married friends abandoned me–not at all. They’re amazing people and are still in my life to this day, supporting and loving us. It just naturally happens that we gravitate to people who share commonalities. Like, when we start a family, we befriend other new families. Same kind of thing. It’s great that we can support each other through different life circumstances and yes, that’s what good friends do!

  • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets May 24, 2015, 3:10 pm

    I’ll bring the eggs and the sharpie. You bring the booze.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com May 24, 2015, 10:45 pm

      K, and then we can draw on each other at the end of the night. Just not another cock and balls on my face.

  • jan May 25, 2015, 8:22 pm

    This is about as funny as a divorce post can be! I’m glad you had such a peaceful divorce. It’s so much easier for the kids. As a teacher I know what havoc difficult divorces/exes can have on kids. Love the phrase “Newly single & newly tattooed”. I thought it was just around here that newly single people got tattoos. I can sort of see why you’d want a little party to celebrate the closure, and the end of something that can be so difficult and stressful.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com May 25, 2015, 9:37 pm

      Thanks! Yes, it’s really really really hard on the kids when the parents are so volatile. Some exes seem to think that when they’re cruel that they’re only hurting the other parent (or his wife!) when in fact the very people who are feeling the effects of it all are their children.

  • J@n July 17, 2015, 4:18 am

    Looks like I’m about to get a tramp stamp then.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com July 17, 2015, 7:34 am

      Uh oh…. really? 🙁

      • J@n July 19, 2015, 2:23 pm

        Really.

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