Should department stores offer a divorce registry? | The Tylt
Should department stores offer a divorce registry?
Once upon a time, a couple getting married would come to the new relationship with little in the way of household items. Wedding showers were meant to be a way for family and friends to help the newlyweds get settled into a new life together. These days though, a lot of couples live together before marriage and are marrying later, so the need to fill a kitchen with plates and appliances is not as crucial as it once was.
Divorce, on the other hand, can leave a person with next to nothing. The need may be greater for someone ending a marriage to get a new toaster or citrus peeler or what-have-you than it is for newly married people. Still, “celebrating” divorce may strike some people as disrespectful of marriage. What do you think?
Divorces, even the most necessary divorces, are difficult for everyone involved. You invariably lose friends, probably lose some (or a lot of) money, and it can take months, or years, to get your footing again. On top of all this, you have to face a loss of material. You can’t both take the blender, after all.
As a result, you might start over after a breakup with a whole lot of nothing. This is when you really need a gift registry. Not when everyone and their mother wants to give you gravy boats, but when you’re down and need a new beginning. And maybe a new gravy boat.
It's a kind and practical thing to do for friends.
Maybe best friends of the world should accept a new duty: throwing breakup showers. Don’t just show up at your newly single friend’s home with a tub of ice cream — show up with ice cream and a new set of spoons so she has something to put in her kitchen.
Giving gifts for marriage is a custom common to almost all cultures, and it’s natural to want to celebrate love in this way. Celebrating divorce, though? That’s weird. Why do people think they should get gifts after something falls apart?
Divorce is a time for introspection and reinvention, surely, not parties and presents. It’s one thing to ask friends for a little help in a hard time—of course, a wish-list on Amazon is also easy to make, regardless of the circumstances— but to treat the end of a marriage as a public justification for a handout is shallow and more than a little selfish.
Divorce registry may be a new idea, but divorce parties have been around a while, though with plenty of critics.
Divorce parties can look like very negative exercises in regret - visions of vitriol spewed into tacky, stabby invitations, cocktails of misery and bitterness served up with slices of dead-spouse blood-velvet cake.