Red Flag Warning
In sunny California when we hear the words Red Flag Warning, we know that the possibility of a brush fire is amplified due to Mother Nature’s lack of keeping her shit together. You know what I mean: first she forgot to send us rain – even during the dreaded El Nino – so we are in a drought; then she decided to send us excessive heat – which made the droughty spots even more brittle; and just when you thought she couldn’t add any more fuel to the fire, she decided to throw in some gale force winds making for perfect combustible burning weather.
With all of that, even if Mother Nature doesn’t manage to stir up her own pot of shit, she can often also rely on some dumb Los Angeles idiot to wreak havoc and do her dirty work for her. I am referring to the dumb ass idiot who goes into the forest on a hot, dry, and windy day – likely smoking some of his ‘medical grade’ marijuana – and of course he never heard the news about Red Flag Warning – because he is brain dead from smoking too much pot; so he mindlessly tosses the remainder of his joint as he strolls through the woods, and poof! Fire!
You see, life would be much easier if we all heeded the Red Flag Warning and took as many precautions as we could. I think life also often shows us plenty of red flags, and sometimes we are so preoccupied with everything that we don’t see them – or if we do, we choose to ignore them. Think back to your past boyfriends, or girlfriends, or lovers, or friends, or bosses, and when you search your mind you will see that the universe was kind enough to show you, sometimes multiple times, big massive blimp sized red flags; and you just chose to ignore them, even as they practically flailed in your face. How different would your life path have been if you had seen the red flag warning and made a different choice?
Looking back at my dating life, the universe sent me obvious red flag warnings for each of my relationships that ended badly. Usually, right in the beginning even before I got in too deep, the tell-tale signs were there warning me to flee. Off the top of my head, I can think of three examples where an incident occurred that at the time bothered me to my core, and had I looked and listened, I maybe would have saved myself some pain, or not wasted part of my precious life with the wrong dude.
First Pathetic Example of a Missed Red Flag Warning:
One night, one of my previous boyfriend’s and I were leaving a bar. We were the last to leave, and as we started to make our way out of the bar, my boyfriend noticed that a beautiful tan suede jacket was left hanging on a chair – most likely forgotten by some drunken soul – who probably would have loved to have recouped his jacket the following day once sobriety hit him. My boyfriend saw the jacket, tried it on, and when it was a perfect fit, he started to walk out of the bar wearing it. I pulled on his arm and asked what the hell he was doing, and suggested that he give it to the body guard for their lost and found, as I was certain that the jacket’s owner would want it back. And he turned to me and said “Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers” and without hesitation left the bar. At the time it bothered me at my core. I knew I could never do that, but I was so…ugh…in LOVE… (puke) that I let it go; but truthfully I never forgot it. It was a memory that haunted me the entire time I dated him. The universe showed me a red flag warning, it showed me that he had a flawed character, and I saw it, I just didn’t want to accept it. (hashtag – #TheLoserIsMe)
Second Pathetic Example of a Missed Red Flag Warning:
Then there was the suave and handsome Investment Banker. As I knew nothing about the stock market, and what he really did for a living, and being that I am an inquisitive soul, I asked him a multitude questions about his work. My only reference to correlate to the investment banking world was the movie ‘Wall Street’, so I asked him to explain insider trading to me. One evening, a month or two into dating, he came over to my house on the late side, extremely upset and troubled – and definitely a little tipsy – and as he sat on my sofa, with his arms crossed and his face red from holding in his anger – he asked me, outright, if (wait…are you sitting down, you need to sit down before you continue reading) … if I was a spy for the FBI?
Once my expression off shock wore of my face, I started to laugh hysterically, and I will never forget what I said… “Seriously, ME, a spy for the FBI, ME with my big mouth, MISS friendly pants, MISS I talk to random strangers, me, MEEEE a spy for the FBI?” And of course he was mad, as he continued to disclose his litany of accusations that he had surmised, all of which led him to unearthing my true identity.
- Maybe I wasn’t even actually Canadian? Was this part of my ‘cover’?
- Was my inquisitive questioning about insider trading merely a ploy to find out information in an attempt to bring him down?
- Plus, what really pushed him over the edge, was that a man who sat next to him on a recent flight back from New York had also been asking prying questions, and today he was certain that the same man was following him when he was in line at the bank; and he was certain that we were both FBI agents, working together and in cahoots!
Okay, so my jaw was on the floor, but I also could not stop laughing and could not take him seriously. I eventually convinced him that he wasn’t unknowingly starring in a remake of ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’; and when he was finally reassured – after I pulled out my Canadian passport and birth certificate as proof – he was relieved, as … he confessed that he was falling in love with me.
I did think this whole evening was beyond whacked, and it seemed insanely ridiculous to me. But, I reasoned that perhaps, in some small way, I may have made him suspicious; so I tried to convince myself that his ‘crazy talk’ came out of the mind of a tipsy and insecure individual, and filed it away into the ‘weird shit file’ in my head. Plus, as he had ended the night with his confession of love for me, I felt like I needed to give him a second chance.
Okay, what I should have asked myself, after his drunk ass went home was, WHY WOULD HE CARE IF YOU WERE A SPY FOR THE FBI, IF HE WASN’T DOING ANYTHING WRONG?? Hmm… The universe had sent me a massive red flag, and for whatever reason at the time, did not see it for what it was.
And, of course, he ended up being an jerk, and let’s say, for a variety of reasons, he no longer is allowed anywhere near the stock market! (hashtag – #IKnowHowToPick’em!)
Third Pathetic Example of a missed Red Flag Warning:
Of course I can’t forget the Jewish boyfriend who told me in the beginning of our relationship that his parents wanted him to marry a Jewish Girl! Red Flag Warning up front! And, as we dated over the year, he would come home from fishing with his dad and say things like, “My dad thinks you’re really nice but you’re not Jewish.” More red flag warning words! Yet, for some stupid reason this SHIKSA thought that reason and logic would somehow prevail in the love department! NOT! I got kicked to the curb, and even though he warned me himself, I just looked at him with dumb goo-goo eyes and thought love could conquer all. (hashtag #MyBad)
So you see, I had warning signs, the Universe’s barometer was on high alert and pointed precisely in my direction, trying to tell me each time to get the fuck out. Yet, I didn’t see, or didn’t want to see, the gigantic red flag warnings that were figuratively smacking my face. But, if I am truthful with myself, I always knew, my gut knew, my instincts knew – but my hormones and my heart kicked in and each time I chose to ignore the red flag warning.
I guess sometimes in life we have to go through these challenges, and learn from our mistakes. And as long as we can learn from our errors and start to be more cognoscente when the universe is trying to help us avoid pain and suffering, then at least that is something. After all, fucking up is part of growing up, and learning how to see people for who they really are, is an acquired skill that often only comes after experiencing pain.
So….. The Moral of this Red Flag Warning Story is:
- Look and listen, really listen – the truth is there, if you choose to see and hear it.
- Don’t beat yourself up too badly when you miss the red flag warnings, but at least try not to repeat the same ones over and over again. Otherwise, the universe is going to give up on you and it won’t be so generous with its red flag warnings, as why should it waste its effort on someone who never seems to get it?
- And on a side note: If you smoke pot, don’t do it in forests, okay? We just can’t trust your pothead to think straight when you are just too damn happy in your own cloudy world.