Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Le Cadeau de Rupture

Why I thought of le cadeau de rupture today, I have no idea. I've never received one and I hope I never do, but I know those who have given and those who have received.

A cadeau de rupture is a gift offered at the end of a romance. The person delivering the news that "it's over" then gives a gift of adieu. I've searched without success to find the history of the tradition. If you saw the film, Le Divorce, you may recall that Kate Hudson's much older lover gave her a red Hermès sac (I can't recall which model) at the debut of their affair and at the end he offered her a Hermès scarf.

Apparently Hermès scarves often fill the role. Depending upon ones means -- or how much the romance meant to the departing party -- jewelry fills the void. One man I know gave his ex a puppy. Apparently he thought a furry friend would help her get over the loss of him. (He was no great loss and she came to see that not long after.) At least with a dog one gets unconditional love and no inane conversation.
Another man I know gave the woman who thought he planned to marry her, the famous Trinity ring from Cartier. Rather cruel really since the Trinity is often the wedding band choice for couples.

Books are big as well and sometimes it's a simple, tiny bouquet of violets. I've been told when you see violets you know it's over. (Not true, My-Reason-For-Living-In-France has given them to me.)

You're probably asking, "Do women do the same thing at the end?" So I've heard, but I have no firsthand knowledge of the give and take so I'm afraid I can't share an anecdote with you.

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