Pop Culture Divorce
In the history of theater you find comedies and tragedies. Everyone is either happy and married or sad and deceased. In our post-modern society, the answer to trauma is a mixture of the two -- the dramedy. Now, apply that to divorce and you have an explanation for the pop culture trends in divorce.
Next to death, we know that divorce is one of the most stressful of all human experiences. It seems that divorce has less of a social stigma -- that we can admit sometimes things just fall apart Chinua Achebe style.
But how do we grieve? The ending of a relationship is kind of a big deal, right?
Enter the divorce party, the divorce dress, the divorce selfie, the new motorcycle. These might seem tacky or flippant, when in reality they simply stand as a physical marker in our lives that indicate a memorial to the death of something once treasured. It's the power of ritual. As society changes, so do our rituals. We can't have a funeral for the marriage, but we can take a picture outside of the courthouse or throw a party with a bittersweet playlist while we are wearing our lovely new dress. We can grow a goatee, buy a new motorcycle, and take a road trip.
I don't think those things are flippant or selfish. I think they are a powerful way to say goodbye to the old self and hello to the new life. They are a testament to the human experience.