Blog Divorce

On the list

January 31, 2010

I’m not sure what to make of the news that Debenhams is setting up divorce lists, as a trendy alternative to wedding lists. I imagine the idea is that the newly separated can get friends to chip in and buy them a replacement for the toaster abandoned when they scarpered from the marital home.


stacksI suppose it’s great that people want to be so upfront about their changed status, and that they want their friends to be involved as they embark on a new phase of life. I just know that, in the immediate aftermath of my split from Mr X, there was no way I could have breezed into Debenhams to look at individual egg poachers or pots of tea for one, then urge my friends to cough up for them. For one thing, I felt too ashamed about the ending of my marriage – I had stood up in front of those people (and my husband) and promised them all I was staying until death did us part, and I had turned out to be a liar. Another consideration is that quite a lot of the ‘friends’ would have been happier to strap explosives around my tummy with duct tape and set light to the fuse than to have bought me a new pedal bin (yes, I left mine behind. Apparently everyone does. To this day, my rubbish goes into an old bucket). These ‘friends’, I hasten to add, were ‘his’  rather than ‘mine’. During the marriage, I had thought of them as ‘ours’ but it wasn’t long into the legal process before all our chums divided just as neatly as they had, once upon a time, in the church, taking seats on either the bride’s side, or the groom’s.

Chattels are the last thing you think of in the full throes of a bitter divorce. They are, however, something you will return to later on. I still have pangs about our wedding china (probably more so because a friend has the same china, which I considered terribly posh and she uses it – ouch – as her everyday service. Now that really hurts). But hell, in the end, it’s just plates. I don’t think, after getting everyone to buy the stuff in good faith all those years ago, I could really turn round now and say, well actually, I’d like the same again, but maybe in a different colour. Or could I? Royal Worcester does do Howard Blue in green ….

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  • Crystal Jigsaw January 31, 2010 at 8:11 am

    God, what next! Is this their way of making money do you think? I got divorced in 1996 and left virtually everything behind. I wasn’t bothered though because I wanted to start afresh and was lucky enough to be able to do so. I had a good job and loved single life, probably too much, which was why I got divorced! Long story, might blog about it one day.

    Do you think John Lewis and Harrods will follow on the trend? Now that would be terribly posh.

    CJ xx

  • Dulwich Divorcee January 31, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Oh, I didn’t know you were a fellow divorcee, do blog about it (I’m so nosy, but other people’s stories are always fascinating). I did say to myself if John Lewis got a list I might take the plunge – aren’t I a shocker?! xx

  • Very Bored in Catalunya January 31, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Hmmm, I don’t think I would be rushing out to buy a newly divorced friend a sandwich toaster. Nor would I dream of asking for one should I ever get divorced.

    • Dulwich Divorcee January 31, 2010 at 11:33 am

      No, it does seem a bit of a strange concept ….

  • rosiero January 31, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Sounds like it might be another horrible idea from America along with Grandparents’ Day, Be Nice to your Secretary Day (the prelude to a divorce) and Baby Showers etc. What would be a better idea is if you could get to throw the plates and other items at him – a sort of Greek wedding in reverse!

    • Dulwich Divorcee January 31, 2010 at 11:34 am

      Ooooh, I think you’ve really got something there, Rosiero, sounds like great fun – though I think I would just throw things at an effigy (what a wimp!)

  • Becky January 31, 2010 at 9:58 am

    It does seem to be the trend! Luckily for me my husband was the one who walked out and only took the hi tech gadgets leaving me with the wedding presents & white goods. I am going to be using some second hand family furniture and fridge/freezer etc. when I have to downsize but wouldn’t dream of asking for new!

    May through a party when divorce comes through but that’s partly as it should coincide with my 40th 😉

    • Dulwich Divorcee January 31, 2010 at 11:37 am

      Gosh, you are lucky he took all the high tech stuff, I can’t bear all those piles of wires and plugs and bits that never quite do what he thought they were going to ….one of the great advantages of divorce is not having that junk lying around! Sorry to hear he walked out, hope things are looking up now and the party sounds fun 🙂

  • Metropolitan Mum January 31, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Well, call me conservative. But this is a bit tasteless. I was happy to leave everything behind. May he eat from ‘our’ plates until the end of his days, reminded of all the crap that has happened.

  • Family Affairs January 31, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    I’m not sure I like that idea at all – it’s pretty insensitive to all those who are deeply traumatised about their divorce and smacks simply of another marketing ploy. Lx

  • Heather February 3, 2010 at 2:40 am

    seems like a very strange concept to me, I couldn’t imagine wanting to throw a party or have a list if I were getting divorced.