Life After Divorce: Kiddie Table Banishment

12/19/2011 03:29 am ET | Updated Feb 17, 2012

No one likes to talk about it. But I have heard from a few friends that post-divorce this problem is quite common. There is some real estate that is downright coveted come holiday time. And sometimes post-divorce you lose your stake at it -- a seat at the adult table during holiday meals.

It usually goes like this: when you are married and you come home for the holidays, no one would dream of putting you at the kids table. Just as it is assumed that you will send out Christmas or Chanukah cards now that you are a married adult, it is also assumed that your spouse will not be forced to sit and eat with your nine-year old niece. So seating arrangements are adjusted so that your new addition to the family will not suffer the fate of being treated like a child.

When you get divorced however, everything changes. Especially when a new member of your generation gets married that year. Suddenly you find your status lowered. Much like a single person with no date at a wedding, you are not going to get prime seating. You instead end up at the table with misfits, and in this case the misfits have bibs, braces or acne. Or worse yet, the table is comprised of all your fellow divorced adult cousins or siblings. The table of rejects; the table of shame.

I say instead of coveting a seat with the adults, look at it this way: Sure it is the table where wine is openly served, but the conversation can drift to octogenarians complaining about their medications and health problems, or a crazy uncle trying to convert everyone to his conspiracy theory political beliefs. Look at the bright side -- you now get to sit with the fun crew. They might even break out into song or start a food fight.

The holidays are horrible anyway when you are newly divorced because even if you wanted desperately out of the marriage, it seems every single thing around you is sending a message that you are somehow broken and sad because you are no longer coupled up. Instead of being defeated by your new status as an adult child, think about the perks:

  • No one will expect a holiday card from you this year or one of those annoying family photo cards
  • You get to hang with children where you can openly mock everything without judgment
  • You can bring your own bottle of wine and drink it all by yourself
  • No one will judge you for what you eat or how fast you eat it
  • You can learn about video games, cartoons and comic books
  • Everyone at the kiddie table will eat pie, so just bask in the joy of eating pie with children!
I never understood why people always dreaded the holidays until I got divorced, and now I understand the holiday dread all too well. But instead of being defeated by it, I am just going to party with my nine-year old niece and bask in the joys of being a misfit at the table of freaks!