So, Mel Gibson is reproducing...AGAIN. This time it's with his new girlfriend, let's call her "Chump." This new information really draws all the strings together for me on this divorce. This is why his long suffering wife finally agreed to the divorce, I'm thinking. There's nothing quite as clear and final and undeniable as: I'm having an affair AND a love child.
It's funny. When you're first married, you think: This is forever! Yay! Then when the honeymoon's over and you hit your first rough patches, you think: This is forever...we can do it. But then you have some kids, hit some rough patches and maybe go broke in the process. Then you maybe think: Hey, who's that hot piece of ass over there? And run off. Or Maybe you think: This is forever and I made a committment and we're going to make it through this. Or maybe one of you says the former and one of you says the latter.
And maybe layered over that is this whole mantle of holiness that one of you, the former, has cloaked yourself in. You've made "authentic" movies about what it means to be a patriot, a freedom fighter, a martyr. But you're human, right? Maybe you just needed a roll in the hay with someone new for a change. There's no harm in that, if you don't get caught, you might think. But being human, your emotions got entangled and you trip yourself up. And now you're in a right mess and there's a baby involved.
And, being a Hollywood icon/leading man, you'll pick yourself up, dust yourself off and walk away unscathed. People will cut you a break. You may go on talk shows where people thoughtfully say, "huh," as you describe the problems in your marriage, your struggles and strife. They may even tear up over your ordeal, your battles with alcoholism/assholery. Then they'll coo over your new baby and snip/snap Bob's your uncle, you receive a lifetime achievment award and go to your new child's middle school graduation all in the same year.
But what if you're the latter? Sure, you're sitting on the pile of money that the State of California has awarded you. And you are enjoying your grandchildren in your golden years. But it kind of feels like failure. Where's my lifetime achievement award?, you might ask the universe. All you've gotten is invitations to Lifetime Movie pitch meetings to tell "your side of the story." Maybe you're thinking how unfair it all is, when you've tried to hold your family together only to watch your marriage fall away like so many Christmas tree pine needles.
I can almost imagine the day they had the conversation that started, "Honey, I'm having a baby with the other woman." The former, just trying to get through the moment. The latter having all suspicions confirmed. "Fine you can have the divorce" finally seeps from lips that once had a determined set, from a person who never dreamed that they would utter such defeat.
Then again, maybe the latter is the winner here. Afterall, she will get to see all of her children grow up. She gets to go through early middle age unecnumbered and independently wealthy. Maybe it is her turn to cry "Freedom!" and savor the time that is her own.
But what am I trying to say about this, you might ask. Good question, I'll say as I look off into the distance. Nothing, really. It's not a gender issue, so much. Though good luck having a baby after 50 as a woman. It is all Mel Gibson's fault, I'm thinking, as usual. More than anything, it's just the human condition. And sometimes, no matter how hard you try to honor your commitments, things just don't work out.