Once upon a time, the word "divorce" was only uttered in a whisper. Divorced people were treated as if they had some horrible disease or done something rude and antisocial. Thankfully, times have changed. Divorce is now accepted and understood as an often healthy choice. And a way to commemorate this big life change -- the divorce party -- has emerged as a full-blown fixture in our culture.
Some still raise eyebrows at divorce parties and consider them tacky or morally corrupt. I personally find them to be very life-affirming in most cases. Here are my top 10 reasons why you should celebrate your divorce.
1. Let's face it, you've been through hell. Who would have thought "'til death do us part" would turn out to be "'til divorce do us part"? A divorce party can mark the end of a long difficult process of emotional disentanglement. A rollicking, unforgettable party can be just what the doctor ordered.
2. It's a great excuse to have a balls-out party with some outrageous food, drinks and games. Enough of the sadness. Time to bring laughter and lightness back into your life. Give full rein to your creativity. Whether your night resembles a bachelorette party or an exorcism, you can literally do anything you want.
3. The party can be great catharsis. You can laugh, shout, scream, whatever you want, all in the company of people who love you.
4. You get to have a huge, fabulous cake. Google images of some grand divorce cakes such as the one topped with a groom run over by a truck, or the one with the headless groom, and have a baker copy one of them.
5. Isn't it horrible to have to explain to everyone under the sun why you are now solo? The divorce party is an opportunity to publicly state that the marriage is over. The whole dirty business can be hashed over and laid to rest once and for all. Everyone will get the memo -- in real time -- and you won't have to bother with any more of those difficult conversations. The world will know you're okay and you're moving on.
6. Divorce can be a long, horrible process, particularly if teeth-gnashing lawyers are involved. But now it's over. The divorce party is a way to mark the end of the conflict. The line is drawn, and it's time to move forward.
7. A divorce party can remind you that, even though your spouse came up short in the love department, you are still loved and cared for by all the people who are gathered together to celebrate you! We're there for each other at every other major landmark in life -- the births, graduations, weddings and funerals. The divorce party is the perfect ritualized event to mark the end of a marriage. Divorce is a stressful, life-changing event and no one should go through it alone.
8. The divorce party can also be a way to thank all the people who stood by us through the ordeal of separation. It's a way to say thanks for letting me talk about it ad nauseam and now I'm ready to move on.
9. The event will also show you who your true friends really are. Those who sniff at the idea or think it's in bad taste -- well, that speaks volumes. Think of your divorce party as a Rorschach test. You'll find out who's been concealing a stick wedged tightly in their posterior.
10. Last but not least, the party is a great way to publicly announce our new status in life. It's our coming out party. We are now single and available for new experiences and even new relationships. A whole new phase of life is beginning. And that is something to celebrate!