It seems Jack White – lead singer of the band The White Stripes – and his model wife, Karen Elson, announced their impending divorce this summer by sending out invitations to a party – one that would be held on the couple’s sixth wedding anniversary, June 10th – during which family and close friends would help the couple “celebrate” their untying the knot.
They were throwing a divorce party.
The invitation White and Elson sent asks partygoers to “please help us celebrate this anniversary of the making and breaking of the sacred union of marriage with our best friends and animals.” It additionally promises “dancing, photos, memories, and drinks with alcohol in them.”
Nothing wrong with that, right?
On the one hand, I understand the gut reaction of many to the idea of divorce parties being what could be distilled down to one word: Tacky. To some extent or other, many of us feel that divorce is a delicate, private thing, and certainly not an occasion for drinks and dancing. It seems, well, to make a bit of a mockery of what many see as being a very grim, very sad life transition.
On the other hand, provided a split is mutual and amicable, holding such an event might help reassure everyone outside the couple that, indeed, all’s well that ends well. That friends, family and acquaintances needn’t pick sides, avoid the subject, or feel awkward in dealing with one or both of the former marrieds. In some ways, it could be a healing event, one in which everyone related to the couple, as well as the couple themselves, could achieve a sense of culmination and closure.
I’m on the fence, to be honest.
But I can’t help but wonder how children would react to such an event. Or would the parents keep the whole thing under wraps and not tell kids about the party (which, on many levels, seems like a bad idea)? Would such a celebration be emotionally/psychologically helpful or harmful to children of the couple involved?
What do you think? Divorce parties: an idea whose time has come, or the worst idea ever? Would you have one? Attend one?
Read more from Tracey Gaughran-Perez at her personal blog Sweetney.com