Tue Feb 23, 2010 06:40
New Industry Emerging To Celebrate Break-Up
Aleaflet from a Mexican restaurant dropped through my door the other day, offering — along with tequila slammers and salsa classes — “birthday parties, hen nights, wedding parties, even divorce parties”. The manager told me he had added the divorce line half in jest. “I haven’t had any takers,” he said. “I live in hope ...”
It may not be long before he finds customers at his door. Divorce has now become so common, affecting almost half of all marriages — and one in five of those break-ups involving people going through the process for a second time — that a subtle shift in attitudes is taking place. Where once divorce inspired pity, it is increasingly being seen — once the tidal wave of emotion has subsided — as the opening of a new life chapter, if not to be celebrated, at least worth marking in some way.
As a result, a divorce industry is springing up, offering services that mirror the buying bonanza of the cake, shoes and dress that accompanies a wedding. Party planners are waiting online to help put together the perfect “new you” celebration, complete with “Just divorced!” badges and sashes, and T-shirts bearing the legend “Free like a bird”.
At weddingringcoffin.com, you can buy a miniature casket with a little brass RIP on the side so you can “bury the past and move on to a new tomorrow”. After which, your friends might tuck into a divorce cake — possibly even one that shows the bride pushing the groom off the top.
London will soon play host to the Starting Over Show, a divorce fair for those who have been through or are considering a break-up that was first staged last year in Brighton. The show proved a big success then. Suzy Miller, the show’s founder, says the idea is to provide a fun day out. “When a marriage finishes, there is a period of shock, anger and venom — the time when you want to hire a hitman — and we all get to that stage and we all go through it,” she says.
Divorce photographers, break-up advisers, post-divorce dating agencies, the industry springing up around divorce is so new nobody has yet quantified it.