Over the past month or so, I have come across some interesting items related to post-divorce parties, celebrations and gifts. In my opinion, some of them are respectable, others are pretty far out there, and a few are bizarre or just sort of crass. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. Nonetheless, I will share some with our readers.
Perhaps this idea might appeal to the very “well-healed”. How about celebrating your divorce with a memorable party in Tuscany, Italy? You bring your friends, and the vendor will take care of the rest. “We believe in love, and divorce is the very first moment your new life starts and opens to new love and happiness. Let us throw your divorce party in Tuscany with good food, wine, music and new ideas,” they say. Imagine you and your friends jetting off for a leisurely trip to Italy. A glass of Chianti wine will be there to welcome you. Then you will start visiting vineyards, have cooking lessons and eat amazing food. You will be able to explore nearby cities such as Florence, Siena, and San Gimignano. Top it all off by having a fantastic party, with a “solemn” celebration of your divorce, a DJ playing for you, and champagne, and food and happiness all around to kick off your new life. For more information, click here.
Here is a website that began as a supportive lark for a friend who was experiencing the heartache of divorce and has turned into a break-up boutique. Smashingkatie.com offers everything from break-up care packages to voodoo dolls, tea and bath products, to boyfriend replacement massage kits. It markets itself as a “Perfectly Cheeky Breakup Boutique.” They say that, “now friends no longer need to search the web for that one perfect gift to give or thought to share with a friend in need. Thanks to our Katie, Smashing Katie is the new source for cheeky, quirky and clever gifts that will help solidify friendships and un-break hearts.”
When a marriage dies, what should be done with the wedding ring? Until now, millions of wedding rings have been banished to remote corners of sock and underwear drawers. Now you can give these wedding rings the proper final resting place they deserve. Maybe what you need is a Wedding Ring Coffin? This Wedding Ring Coffin comes with an engraved brass plaque bearing a message which conveys your final thoughts about your marriage. Choose from a standard message or create your own unique personal message. According to the seller, the Wedding Ring Coffin is the “perfect way to close the lid on your dead marriage. It’s time to bury the past and move on to a new tomorrow!” Check it out here.
It seems that most items that I came across are aimed at women. Not sure why that is. But here are some that might appeal as a gift for a woman recently divorced:
For the sensitive woman: A mug emblazoned with the words “You’re Too Good for Him,” might be the perfect way for someone enduring a break-up to start their day. Or perhaps a bracelet that reminds them of strength in adversity. (http://www.healingbaskets.com/divorce-gifts.htm)
For the woman who could use some encouragement: An Incredible Instant Adoring Boyfriend DVD. He does housework and he’s generous with compliments. (http://abernook.com/prod/Instant-Adoring-Boyfriend.asp)
For the woman who is ready to be inspired: The Stepping Stones affirmation set provides 48 cards with women’s wisdom for healing. (http://www.femailcreations.com/products/sku-8930__pc-findgift.html)
For a friend celebrated at a Girls’ Night Out: The perfect wine glass for a woman which says, “Who Needs a Man”. It is hand-painted in shades of pink and silver, the design “celebrates all that is good about single womanhood.”(http://www.wrapables.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=A54513)
Here are a few suggestions for that guy who is reeling from his recent divorce:
For an angry guy stuck paying alimony: Pre-Written alimony checks with three sayings. Checks are made out to: Pay to the of Lying Selfish Wh_ _ e, Cold Heartless B_ _ _ H and Cause of All My Pain in the amount of Every Last Friggin’ Cent! There are 24 checks in each pack. (http://chocolatefantasies.com/divorce.htm)
For that cigar aficionado: How about buying a good box of cigars and order personalized cigar bands to commemorate the occasion? (http://www.personalcigarbands.com/)
For the Golfer: How about a golf shirt that says, “I Used My Mulligan on My First Wife”. (http://www.cafepress.com/+i_used_my_mulligan_on_my_first_wife_golf_shirt,27822957)
Finally, more gender neutral ideas (or at least geared towards both divorced men and women): For the friend who can use a little perspective and a good laugh: A ceramic sign that reads: “It is better to have loved and lost, than to live with a psycho for the rest of your life.” Or, one that says: “If it has testicles or tires, it’s gonna give you trouble.” (http://www.mountainemeadows.com/catalog/piece/loved_psycho/)
For the friend with a sense of humor: You could get a chocolate bar that cheers “Happy Divorce,” but that wouldn’t be nearly as memorable as the three and a half foot inflatable husband or wife. (“All your friends will like him, won’t upset your parents, always willing to please, doesn’t watch football, never breaks wind, always faithful, and he floats.”) (http://chocolatefantasies.com/divorce.htm)
For the friend who has been through too much with an ex: This is for the person whose divorce has been more than any one person should bear. And that person is crazy. The EX Knife Holders, Designed By Raffaele Iannello, will provide some personal satisfaction (and a laugh) every time you walk into the kitchen. And they come in a variety of colors to match any décor: black, red, chrome, pink and apple green. Pretty weird! (http://www.amazon.com/5-Piece-Stainless-Steel-Knife-Unique-Holder/dp/B000IXINLC)
For a positive start on life: A health package at a gym or spa will help rejuvenate a person who suffered from a divorce or breakup, mentally, physically and spiritually. Pamper your friend by taking him/her to a gym/spa for the whole day. Or, perhaps give your friend an introductory membership.
Who wouldn’t like this: Getting away from the current situation will benefit the person greatly. You can give him/her a tour package to a place he/she had always wanted to visit. It will perhaps help him/her get through some of the grief and have some long overdue fun!
For a mainstream and traditional gift: Bring a bottle of wine as a gift with a handwritten card that says something to the effect of, “I admire the strength you have shown through this difficult time” and that’s about it.
For the readers: Perhaps a gift certificate to a book store. Or, you might order an excellent book to help your friend more successfully transition back to life after a divorce. One book that I can personally recommend was written by Donna F. Ferber, LPC, LADC, who is a licensed psychotherapist in Connecticut, and frequent contributor to this blog. Her book, From Ex-Wife to Exceptional Life: A Woman’s Journey through Divorce, which won an Honorable Mention Award by the Independent Publishers Association, is really terrific! While written from a woman’s viewpoint, it helps men understand the female perspective, plus many of the “healing pages” are applicable for either gender. To learn more about Donna and her books, please visit www.donnaferber.com
But the best gift you could probably offer is your friendship and support. Once the dust has settled, encourage your friend, family member, or whoever it is, to laugh and have fun, meet new people, and enjoy some positive experiences. Be a good, patient and thoughtful friend. Take the time to help him or her realize that life does go on even after a divorce, and that it can be rewarding even though it is not the desired path! Finding peace and happiness after a divorce takes effort, perseverance and time, but having a good friend or two in the process is PRICELESS!
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Robert L. Mues
Robert Mues is the managing partner of Dayton, Ohio, law firm, Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues, and has received the highest rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability. Mr. Mues is also a founding member of the "International Academy of Attorneys for Divorce over 50" blog.