Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Alternate Reality

Once upon a time...last Friday night to be exact...my mom and I paid a visit to my cousin...who is temporarily residing in the county jail. It's not her first time there, and sadly, it probably won't be her last.
My mom had a mission to accomplish, and she didn't want to do it alone.
She had to let my cousin know why it was she no longer had custody of her daughter...because unfortunately she was so out of it at the time of her arrest that she couldn't remember the details.
We had to be there at 7pm - sharp. That's what the dispatcher told my mom.
We had a small glitch in the plans when my mom turned west and thought she was going south. After convincing her that we needed to turn around and go the other direction, we made it to the jail with a minute to spare.
We walked into a very crowded waiting room and before we took two steps inside the door the woman at the desk said,
"Who are you here to see?"
We told her.
"You were supposed to be here 15 minutes ago."
My mom, who is the epitome of sweet and kind said,
"I'm sorry. No one told me that."
"You needed to be here 15 minutes ago," the woman said again.
As we all know, I'm not always the epitome of sweet and kind and so I said,
"We heard you the first time but we didn't get the memo."
"Next time be here early."
To which I responded,
"Trust me, there won't be a next time."
And at that point I think the lady caught on. Oh...if I talk to her with a tone she will talk to me with a tone right back.
After that she was nicer. (In all fairness, I'm sure she has a high stress job, and she's entitled to a tone once in a while...as long as it's not directed towards my mom.)
She took our ID, gave us a pass, and told us what door to go through, and which hall to walk down.
I promised my mom that in the future I would keep my mouth shut.
Sometimes being put in jail can be a good thing, and for my cousin that is the case.
In jail she's sober, and clean, and can think clearly...and she's as kind as they come...and we love her.
It's really like on TV. You have to talk on a phone and there is a thick piece of glass that separates you from the inmate. It's kind of sad.
Because there is only one phone and I couldn't hear both sides of the conversation my mind wandered and settled on the conversation of the family next to us.
A mom, dad, and sister were there to visit their daughter/sister who was in jail. While the sister and the dad talked to the other sister, the mom sat in the cubicle next to them talking to another girl. It was clear they were talking for the first time.
I always love to try and figure out the dynamics and relationships between people and this time was no exception. I watched the mom and dad switch places, and now the dad was talking to the girl he had never met before.
Before too long I realized that the daughter was using this 1/2 hour of visitation to introduce her family to her one true love. At one point the mom said, "If both of you hadn't have
been thrown in jail you would never have met."
Touching story...or something.
I couldn't listen any more after that because it was my turn to talk to my cousin.
She said how hard it was to be in jail and I said, "At least it keeps you out of trouble." Thankfully she laughed. She knows me...she knows I love her but not the choices she makes.
When we were getting ready to leave, the family next to us was planning a family reunion for when the love birds got out. My cousin begged us to come again this week.
We made a stop at the booking office to get something and while we were there a couple came in and had to pay $2700.00 to bail their son out of jail.
They were NOT happy.
As we walked out the door I put my arm around my mom and said, "It could be worse. Your kids aren't so bad."
She agreed.


Little sister said...

Yeah! At least we don't get ourselves put in jail to find our true love! Hey, maybe that's the reason it took a little longer for some of us! MAYBE that's the trick! Hmmm...what should we get Becca to do to put herself in jail?

Sam said...

I'm the same way - I love trying to figure out how people are related/connected to each other. I'm a people watcher. Hopefully I'm not as creepy as I sound. Hehee

Daniel and Elise said...

Crazy experience! I'm glad your mom took you with her :)
It's so hard to see people who just can't seem to make good decisions. I'm an 'easy road' kind of person; if I can learn from other people's mistakes and save myself some pain, then I will do it!

Tiffany said...

"Touching story... or something" Oh dear. Funny and terribly sad and pathetic all at once.

My sister has received a few collect calls recently from her dearest childhood friend, who now resides in the county jail. Addiction bites. She has lost her husband, house, car and her beautiful children. Most of her family has severed contact. Hopefully she can get it figured out.

Hope your cousin can get it figured out too.

I'm thinking that I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of 'the tone'. Go Noelle!! Nobody disses the mama.

As for finding love in the correctional system? Don't get incarcerated. It's much simpler (and cheaper) to just start being a prisoner groupie. They love their pen pals ;)

Christina said...

Interesting post! :)

I have something for you, please stop by my blog and get it! *smooches!*

Mr. Thompson and Me said...

Confession: I don't know why but the thought of your mom at the county jail made me giggle.

Please give my apologies to your cousin.

Synderguaard and I can bust her out if needed. We learned how in NYC....

Amy said...

I've never been to jail....kinda makes me sad....and curious. Maybe I'll go visit your cousin because stuff that "really is like it is on tv" just sounds glamorous....