Pilossoph (third from the left) at her Divorce Party last Thursday night
Many of you know that I am a features reporter for Sun-Times Media. So, if last Thursday’s event, the Divorced Girl Smiling Divorce Party/Fundraiser wasn’t MY party, I might have been there covering it, taking pictures and then writing the story for the paper.
I thought it would be fun to write an article about my event as if I were a reporter. So here’s my coverage of my own event! Admittedly, it’s quite biased and long, but hey, it’s my party and my article. And this is the only place it’s getting published. 🙂
Ever Been to a Divorce Party?
By Jackie Pilossoph
Divorce parties are becoming more and more popular and are a growing trend for men and women who want to officially celebrate the end of a marriage.
But last Thursday night, a divorce party took place in Northbrook, and it had nothing to do with rejoicing over a recent split. Instead, the party was all about celebrating a divorce website and novel, and at the same time, giving back to a great cause.
The Divorced Girl Smiling Party Fundraiser, held at Pinstripes on Willow Road drew in 250 guests—married, divorced, and single–who were there to mingle, catch up with friends, eat, drink, meet new people, and meet and talk with writer and author, Jackie Pilossoph.
“I was absolutely stunned by the number of people who came to this event,” said Pilossoph, who launched Divorced Girl Smiling.com a year ago, and whose novel with the same name was released last month. “To get over 200 people out on a freezing cold, snowy, January night absolutely warms my heart. That kind of support is overwhelmingly humbling.”
With vocalist and guitarist, Robbie Gold playing John Mayer type music in the background, guests were able to walk around and get free advice with the 13 event sponsors who were chosen by Pilossoph. Sponsors included a divorce attorney, divorce mediator, mortgage broker, real estate broker, plastic surgeon, dating expert, financial consultant and chiropractor.
“I chose my sponsors carefully,” said Pilossoph, who spent the night signing books and taking photos with her website followers. “Every single one is either a personal friend of mine or I have done business with them. I trust each implicitly, and I wanted them to be able to share their knowledge with my guests.”
The ticket price, which included complimentary heavy appetizers and one free cocktail was $25 in advance and $40 at the door. The first 150 guests received a swag bag that included a copy of Pilossoph’s new novel, Divorced Girl Smiling and an event t-shirt.
Seventy percent of ticket sales were donated to The Lilac Tree, an Evanston based non-profit organization that offers education and support to divorced women.
“I was so happy to be a part of this event,” said one of the guests. “There hasn’t been a community event like this in a long long time, and I think the fact that it was a fundraiser for such a great organization made everyone feel wonderful about attending.”
Pilossoph, who is also a features reporter and weekly columnist for Sun-Times Media launched her website, Divorced Girl Smiling in February of 2013, and said her goal was to offer support to men and women facing divorce, but to do it in a humorous, uplifting, inspirational way.
Her novel, also called Divorced Girl Smiling is a fictitious story of a woman going through a divorce, who is so distraught that in an attempt to deal with the pain of it, she sells her engagement ring (valued at $36,000) on craigslist for 99 cents. Her goal is to pick the buyer, a man who will make a good husband and have a marriage that will last forever.
“During the process of interviewing these men, the main character begins to reflect about her role in the demise of her marriage,” said Pilossoph, who went through a divorce seven years ago. “Divorce is a journey and everyone’s is different. This woman’s is outrageous and dramatic, but that’s what fiction is. But anyone who went through a divorce will be able to relate to this, and even women who are happily married will enjoy it, purely for its entertainment value.”
A group of the characters in Pilossoph’s book, “the cinnamon girls” play a big part in the main character’s healing process, and were based on Pilossoph’s five best friends from high school.
Four of the women, Kristine Sullivan, Ruby Kang, Anne Paul and Shanda Spirer surprised Pilossoph and flew in for the party from Pittsburgh and New Hampshire. Christine Salah was unable to attend and was truly missed, but all the women understood.
Additionally, a group of Pilossoph’s college sorority sisters showed up from other Chicago suburbs, the city, Indianapolis, and Denver.
“The night was magical,” Pilossoph said. “There was so much love and support all around for my website, my book, and the Lilac tree. It really was beautiful. And, it wasn’t just my friends. There were countless numbers of people who came up to me and said, ‘I’m here because I read your blog and you have no idea how much it has helped me.’ And that is my passion. That’s why I keep doing this. There is no better feeling than that.”
When asked if she was going to throw anymore divorce parties, Pilossoph said she has already received dozens of emails asking “when is the next event?”
“I’m not sure where this is going to take me,” said the writer, who is currently working on a non-fiction book about divorce, and whose column Divorced Girl Smiling will be launching in the Sun-Times in March. “I just know that there’s a real niche for what I’m doing: I’m helping people who are going through a really, really bad time in their lives. That is indescribably meaningful to me.”