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Happily never after

For the first time last week, I was invited to a divorce party. The awkwardness began very soon, right from the message accompanying the invitation.

india Updated: Oct 19, 2012 17:15 IST
Serena Menon
Couple-argue
Couple-argue

For the first time last week, I was invited to a divorce party. The awkwardness began very soon, right from the message accompanying the invitation. How do you respond? “Oh awesome, we haven’t partied in so long”?

No matter who it comes from, there’s no correct reaction to statements like, “I just got divorced” or “I broke up with my boyfriend” or “We just ended it”. Some people secretly want their friends to play devil’s advocates. Others don’t appreciate the glee on your face when you see them part ways with someone you didn’t like. Nodding is safe; shake your head from one side to the other for the Indian nod, even better.

Last Friday, television actor Shweta Tiwari also celebrated her divorce with Raja Choudhary. Though I doubt she invited Raja to the party, which she planned almost instantaneously —unless she was really out of entertainment options that night. The one I attended had both former partners playing hosts. There was a cake. Cakes make things official. There they were: husband and wife of 10 years, slicing their last icing together. If the tension in that room was an elephant, it would be one very upset, claustrophobic mammal.

There was good, loud music and there was alcohol, but even simple thoughts like “This is one happening party!” sounded wrong in my head. Conversation about ‘the question’ is dangerous too, unless you want to be held responsible for bringing the party to ‘that’ point. There’s only one thing you can do — get very tipsy, very fast, so you have complete deniability the next morning.

Asfor what you can’t do, apparently, there’s a long list (that I now know exists):
1. Don’t make eye contact with anyone or anything for over two seconds.

2. Don’t act like you’re enjoying anything, except the food. And be sombre about it. Chew slowly.

3. Don’t ask worrisome questions like who gets to keep the cats.

4. Don’t compliment the house or the décor. You never know who did it up.

5. Don’t remind them of your stress-free life by taking any frivolous phone calls.

6. Ignore the fact that there are kids at this party.

7. And don’t attend one of these if you don’t enjoy British humour.