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War of the Roses – Revisited

Posted in Life & Love, Relationships, and Women's issues

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It’s curious that, despite never having lived in New York and with no particular connections to the city, I get most of my news from two quintessentially New York publications: the New York Times and the New Yorker (which, according to sofagirl, rambles on and doesn’t have enough pictures).

The NYT hasn’t come up with a great app yet or, maybe, I am just old-fashioned and still quaintly attached to the thud of the paper at the bottom of the driveway and the pretty picture it paints on the kitchen table, next to a coffee cup – with the added advantage of being spill proof. There are few more rewarding things on Thursdays and Sundays than to reach for the Style section (yes, I go for the hard news first) and immerse myself in the latest lipstick shades and fashion dramas.

Last Sunday, what caught my eye was a pretty hefty piece on something I had previously heard of, if never invited to. Not yet at least but, if this trend is to be believed, there might be a divorce shower in my future.

To a European, the concept of shower is bizarre at best, a tacky excuse for demanding gifts and sitting through idiotic games. But I thought about it and this might be a case when love and support (i.e. what you have just lost) might come in handy. Whether it was your choice, a mutual agreement or you were unceremoniously dumped, there is nothing like a divorce to bring you face to face with failure. What started with promises, good intentions and possibly some hideous gifts lost its meaning along the way and that can never be cause for celebration.

On top of dealing with sadness, anger (or maybe elation at having escaped a lunatic), new accommodations and lawyer fees, chances are that one’s possessions have been split somewhere down the middle. You might have parted ways with the horrendous cheese tray you never registered for but maybe you also had to give up  the treasured set of knives or your favourite colander. What better cheer me up than a friend organizing a shower to ease you into your new circumstances. Far from approving of the excesses described in the article, divorce is one of those life-altering events that draws friends and acquaintances out en masse at the outset, if nothing else out morbid curiosity, but leaves one rather stranded in the aftermath, when all is said and done and the time comes to star over.  And why not with new sets of towels and sheets compliments of those friends who will always be there.

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  1. Yeah, well, you might be right. I have such an aversion to weddings, the typical bad food, the boring guests you end up sitting next to, I made it a policy of never going….although I am not sure I would want back something I was forced to pick from a registry I didn’t care for!

    October 7, 2012
  2. I think it would make more sense at a divorce shower to return all the gifts from the original wedding. Especially if the marriage lasted less than 5 years 😉

    October 7, 2012
  3. isiscambassassassassian

    The New Yorker sucks big time, And the cartoons aren’t funny, either!

    September 23, 2012
  4. Oh good grief … another thing for a single girl to spend her single income on. If I think about all of the money I have spent on engagement gifts, wedding presents, travel and outfits, house warming gifts, christening presents, birthday gifts for kids and (in one bizarre case) recommitment ceremony gifts … I get vertigo. Now I have a divorce shower to contribute to as well? I think not.

    My favourite part of this article is: ‘For example, Ms. Blum did an “Alice in Wonderland”-themed party in the Hamptons for one elderly wealthy client whose third marriage, to his yoga instructor, had gone off the rails.’ Says it ALL, baby.

    SO to all the people whose various celebrations I have attended over the decades: I have a’Staying Resolutely Single’ Shower planned for myself. No need to attend: my lists are at J Crew (cashmere), Prada (handbags/shoes), Tiffany (jewellery), Bloomingdales (linen) and Williams Sonoma (set of knives and really good pots). With all these lovely gifts under my bed – I promise to stay true only unto myself and until death me do depart.

    ps: When reading the New Yorker, one just simply loses the will to live. A book review in 2000 words anyone? 5000 words on fudge? Just read the book. Eat the damned fudge. Dorothy Parker knew best that Brevity is all: ‘We might as well go back,’ she said during an intermission of The Lake in 1934, ‘and watch Katharine Hepburn run the gamut of emotions from A to …B”.

    September 21, 2012

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