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Mel, Oksana and relationship red flags

Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010 in Honesty, love, Relationships

Sara and I were in line at Peet’s when two women walked in and got behind us, midstream in flinging the celeb dirt.

“What an ass! Can you believe his vitriol?”

“I’d never let a man treat me that way. And to a new mom!”

It was clear they who they were talking about.

“That Mel is crazy,” Sara whispered to me.

“Yeah, I guess so …” I mumbled.

“What?” Sara asked with a puzzled look.

“Well, this is pretty embarrassing given what’s happened since, but he used to be my fantasy guy.”

“Mel Gibson?!?”

Suddenly, everyone in the coffee shop stopped and stared, like they’d all been shot by Mr. Freeze.

“Shhhh, for God’s sake!”

“Kat, how could you?”      

“It was back when he was gorgeous, with those amazing blue eyes and wild hair on a horse. And, you know, he was normal and funny, not
a raving mad man.”

“Yeah, he was pretty hot in ‘Braveheart.’ What the hell happened to him?”

“I’d guess Oksana Grigorieva is asking the
same thing.”

And isn’t that the scariest part of the whole
sordid saga — that we can fall in love and have a baby with someone who then turns into a total freak show on us?

Weren’t there any red flags?

Can people hide their true selves that well that no one knows the real person until it’s too late — you’re married, you’re having babies together and you then you end up black and blue and in an abused woman’s shelter or hawking your sex tapes?

Sure, sometimes, shit happens — a social drinker becomes a total boozer or an occasional pot smoker turns into a meth addict. But I’d bet the red flag — addictive personality! — waved at least sometime during the courting phase.

Was anyone paying attention?

Was I?

Without being revisionist, I look back at when I first met Rob and it’s clear to me now that I missed — ignored, actually — more than a few glimpses into The Troubles that were to be our destiny.


For one thing, I was as good a spin artist as any six-figure Beltway flack. Drinking? Ha, we were party people! His record of cheating on ex-lovers? He’d just fallen for the wrong women; no way he’d do that with me!

Now, I don’t know for sure that if I had paid more attention to the flags, I would have dumped him; I might have ended up as Mrs. Rob anyway. That would be more of an issue with me than him. And that, of course, is the real problem.

Rob was waving his little red flags, even if he wasn’t aware of that. He was letting me know, Warning! This is who I am. Can you live with this?

I, evidently, said, “Bring it on, baby!”

So, back to Mel and Oksana. I’ll admit, Mel has proven himself to be, well — and I’m being generous here, given all the times he, uh, pleasured me so well — not a very nice man. I no longer want to strip him naked, throw him on the bed, hold him down and do my thing with him. I have moved on to others who still seem nice (or, better yet, naughty, but in the good ways) — Brad, Johnny, George, Robert … And my fave fantasy, Sean, whom I get to enjoy in the flesh, too.

But, could he have possibly have not waved any red flag at all?

  • Can someone do a total behavioral 180 on us?
  • Or, are we being ever so slightly oblivious to the warning signs?
  • Even if whatever lunatic rants of the equivalent in our lives never get taped and distributed, who among us has never seen them coming?
  • And, what sort of flags do you wave, hmm?

Bring on the comments

  1. Steve says:

    In one of those articles about romantic love being an altered brain state that lasts from 1 – 3 years, scientists stated that one side effect is the partial disabling of judgment in regards to the other person.

  2. jim
    Twitter: mobilene

    I think the secret to dating is learning to recognize the red flags. We all come with our problems. The trick is picking someone whose problems you know how to live with.

  3. T
    Twitter: tsquest

    I don’t know. I do agree that there are red flags with ANYBODY… but we ignore them for the sake of “pairing up”. Ya know because love doesn’t use logic.

    In Mel’s case, I wonder if he’s not kicking his own ass for leaving his long-time wife and family. I wonder if he’s not in a state of depression and is taking out his “victimhood” on her. Annnddd she just happened to be recording it…

    Who knows? She’s also very young and perhaps relationship immature as well. We certainly don’t know how she’s been treating him, do we?

    Anyway, not to take anyone’s side here but there are TWO sides to every story.

  4. amy says:

    i’ve been reading a lot about the appeal of the “alpha male” and it somehow seems relevant here. i’m too tired to articulate it more, but wanted to throw it out there.

    also, my daughter is watching (for the billionth time) “chicken run” and i just can’t help but giggle a little at the casting of mel as the voice of the, um, rooster.

  5. Kat Wilder says:

    Could it be that #Oksana never saw any read flags with #Mel? Really? Never?

  6. Kat Wilder says:

    Could it be that #Oksana never saw any red flags with #Mel? Really? Never?

  7. Kat Wilder says:

    Steve — yes, I know, just at the time we need to think, think, think! Who says biology isn’t driving us?

    Jim — Sheesh, I think that’s the secret to life — basically, paying attention.

    T — always two sides, and the truth is somewhere in between. But, I’m not really concerned with M&O, more about whether someone can turn into a freak and we didn’t see any hints along the way.

    Amy — I love “Chicken Run”! And, you know, he was perfect in it as a womanizing rooster. Hmm …

  8. Jenni
    Twitter: msjennixo

    I know with my ex, there were TONS of red flags. TONS. I just totally ignored them. Because with me, he did change for the better, for a while. Unfortunately, that change just didn’t stick around. (I am, however, the longest relationship he ever had – and I’m the ONLY woman he has never cheated on. Not that any of that matters anymore.)

    I ignored the partying red flag, because we were BOTH doing it. I just stopped. He didn’t.

    I ignored the crappy money managing red flag. I just took over finances instead.

    I ignored the “I can lie to anyone with a straight face” red flag, because I figured he’d never have a reason to feel the need to lie. Yep. Silly me.

    Now? Now I TOTALLY look at for red flags. The minute I see one, it has turned into a total turn OFF. The minute I catch wind of something, I just pretty much tell myself that it’s really not worth it. At least not right now.

    But I think everyone is going to have some sort of red flag. It’s how much you love them, that makes you decide whether or not to look past them.

  9. Babak Bamdad says:

    My wife thought he was hot too, but ever since he went nuts, she’s moved on to Clive Owens.
    By the way, it was my wife who introduced me to your blog and I’m happy that she did.

  10. BigLittleWolf
    Twitter: BigLittleWolf

    Interesting topic. I think there are usually red flags. But then again, don’t they say love is blind? (Or at least, myopic?)

    Then there’s the fact that he’s an actor. Might he have been a better actor than we realized? Or is anyone who’s had a baby with someone more likely to rationalize for as long as possible?

  11. christine says:

    One thing I’ve just recently realized is that people ALWAYS show you who they are. It’s just a matter of whether we want to see what they’re showing us.

  12. vincent says:

    i fell in love with a beautiful girl and married her 6 weeks later. she was really rad and smart and cuddly and taught me lots of stuff and we had tons of fun. we had hard moments too and at one point she was super mad and threatened to abort our baby and we got through that and a suicide attempt she had later. After 8 years we got divorced. She gave us the most beautful son ever and she’s a great co-parent and really spiritual now. its super hard to be human and easy to get so upset it overwhelms everything else. inside suffering is bliss and opportunity my friend chandra taught me. people can get over upset and mistakes and be happy again and bring others joy. change in a relationship is a gift that lets us see life anew. everything is ok exactly as it is.