Baking a big deal of divorce

Divorce cakeYes, ‘baking’, you read that right. I’m a fan of the Huffington Post, and like to drop by its divorce pages from time to time to catch up on the latest stories. This section was set up by someone I greatly admired, American writer Nora Ephron. She also coined its mordant and memorable slogan  Marriages come and go, but divorce is forever.

Earlier today I logged on to find a photo story on the site called Revenge Is Sweet: 10 Hilarious Divorce Cakes. Divorce cakes are, perhaps the inevitable accompaniment to an increasingly popular trend– the divorce party, in which the newly liberated/ cast aside get together with their friends and family to joke, laugh (or smile through the tears), and focus themselves firmly on what will always be is the most important part of their lives: the future.

Of course, such parties are a deliberate attempt to twist the traditional view of divorce as something sad, tragic and slightly shameful. It’s easy to feel like a victim in a divorce – a victim of circumstances perhaps, of infidelity or your partner’s inexplicable desire to leave. Why not a  throw  a party instead of feeling beaten, something that says ‘down but not out, ready for the next round!

Wedding cakes contain almost as much tradition as they do eggs and flour, so buying or baking a divorce cake for  your divorce party is a richly symbolic way to mark the end of an era. Some of the cakes featured in the Huffington Post story are warmly witty, some blackly humorous, some cathartically gruesome. Each is clearly a way for the party-thrower to close the door on one chapter of their lives and move on to the next. I think funny and tenacious Nora Ephron would have approved.

In my capacity as a divorce lawyer, I have seen many clients at the lowest of ebbs – in shock, crying, incredulous that this calamity has befallen them. But the time will always come when they feel ready to move on, even if some take longer to reach that point than others.. When the ink dries on their divorce settlement, the rest of their life will be waiting . If a garish cake and a blackly funny party helps them to reach that point sooner rather than later, then I say compose those invites and get baking.

Photo by Jen via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

Marilyn Stowe

The senior partner at Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers with clients throughout the country, in Europe, the Far East and the USA.

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1 comment

Luke - July 24, 2013 at 5:25pm

“The desire to get married is a basic and primal instinct in women. It’s followed by another basic and primal instinct: the desire to be single again.”
― Nora Ephron
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It’s part of the reason why you’ll find it is almost exclusively women who are baking the cakes – another part is that the women are usually the financial winners in divorce – they have something to really celebrate.

Men, take note.

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