Tough Love, Millennials, Moochers & TDCJ Weddings. How Work & Family Can Burst Your Bubble…
For the record, I wish my life was carefully planned and orchestrated. I wish the only thing I had to worry about was showing up to meet a client or driving to a Texas Prison Wedding, venue or other location but, it isn’t, because there isn’t a clear line between work and my family for me. Quite frankly, there never has been.
On today’s blog, I will also address the numerous production companies contacting me who “think” they have a “great idea” for a show. I’m not interested in faking my Client base or my life. Four generations of my family work with me at Texas Twins Events, Texas Prison Weddings, & The Pawning Planners. It should be noted that The Pawning Planners Client base is so small that very few clients even qualify. Why? Distance, items that have a market, refurbishing expenses and more. This option is available to limit people contacting me for free services and claiming to have no money. Effectively, I weed out everyone assuming that we help everyone. We try to help everyone but, we have expenses too.
Today’s Skype call was mostly likely a waste of time since “their idea” and “my reality” were far from being on the same page and also because when I had scheduled this Skype, my niece wasn’t being released to a homeless shelter within one hour prior a scheduled Skype call too. When it rains- it POURS. Where’s my happy face when I need it?!
What I should’ve done after getting a call from JPS regarding dropping my niece back off in the streets after spending nine days to locate her and trying to get her back into treatment was to CANCEL the Skype conference.
Let’s face it, I was far too stressed to act normal and “advising me to fake or hide my Clients” triggered me. The call started out fine. Introduce yourselves. What do you do? What do your family members do? Bla Bla. Cindy and I both checked our watches.
My work ethics sometimes get in the way of sound decisions. Having someone tell me my Client base was controversial but “we can find other events aside from prison weddings because networks don’t like controversy” after all I’ve been through with Stephaney actually infuriated me.
I’m wasting time with someone who knows what I do and yet, they prefer to fabricate my life? You’d get lit too if you’d been through more than one production company making shit up. Telling you what they think will sound great to networks. I’ve heard it all before.
Years ago, Cindy and I were under contract with a production company that knew what our main business was but decided to “spin it” into we only do bartered Events. This was a problem because 1. Networks don’t care about poor people and 2. Very few of our clients qualify for the barter option based on my guidelines. 3. Without enough clients to film a series of shows on clients you don’t actually have on the books, it’s a real problem. 4. You don’t ONLY BARTER EVENT SERVICES. 5. Because you have that option available, your other clients and services are dropped entirely and you are effectively PUT into a box.
It’s a box with a big bow that’s full of hot air. It’s a fake concept of how you actually spend your time. What you actually do from day to day. It is a fake story. It isn’t about your life or your business. A production company made it all up.
You’ve learned that finding a production company that doesn’t want to fabricate everything is incredibly difficult. But, the calls keep coming. Calls from production companies wanting to “spice your life AND your story up.”
People ask how you find production companies? They have no idea that production companies FIND YOU. You don’t contact them. That’s not how it works. Production companies are looking for something new and find you. Then, after finding you, they want to change you. They argue that they have a great storyline.
Production companies claim to “know what they are doing” but, they don’t know shit about what you actually do. “a BROAD tongue, CONSISTENTLY narrows the SEARCH, for a FEEBLE mind.”
There are a million wedding shows. The market is saturated with over the top Weddings. But, production companies want you to pretend that’s what you do. Big, expensive Events with divas.
The truth is that working BIG Events takes you away from the actual money making services you offer. You don’t do big events unless you have to because you can do up to 30 events in one month versus one. You work with people who are honored you are helping them. You limit the drama. You limit losing money to someone who wants it all but can’t afford to pay for it.
You have learned the hard way that too much is never enough. Because of this, you like what you are doing now and who you do it for. You have found a happy balance. You don’t want to change your life or your business to fit in a box. You don’t want to fake who you are or who you help.
Production companies regularly fabricate people and stories. They don’t care what you actually do. They don’t care about your real clients because for them, fake ones are far more interesting.
I find the fact that many shows are of called “reality based” when in fact they are FAR from real. “UNLESS you HAVE made the JOURNEY, never ATTEMPT to OFFER others, DIRECTIONS for their TRIP.”
You get a call about a Greenlight. They need your schedule. They screen your bookings. They choose the clients. You are not in control. The clients chosen have only a dresser and old bike to barter. It will never cover the cost of their Event. You know you will lose money on this Dream Event but no one cares.
The production company takes furniture out of your house and plants it at someone else’s. The production company is going to have you “pretend” you made $1500 off the barter when in fact, you lost $1500.
The production company also tells you and your sister to roll heavy truck tires up a hill. “It will look good on film. Two fifty year old twins struggling to load truck tires.” Everyone around you is young they don’t factor your age or your health. Why? They don’t care.
The production company doesn’t give a shit you are losing money filming this or that you can get hurt. You learn a lot about filming. You learn that “fake is the new black.” You do what you are told and at the end of it all, you learn that production companies go out of business all the time. But, you need hernia surgery from those truck tires.
You not only lost money doing what they told you to do but now you have medical expenses too. You learned the hard way to just say no. You’ve also learned that if a production company can’t accept you the way you are to take a hard pass.
“WE may NOT be the SET of DIAMONDS you HOPED for, BUT like a COUPLE of CUBIC zirconias, WE will SHINE on, because YOU don’t HAVE to BE high MAINTENANCE, to SPARKLE.”
You now also have other people calling you that either expect or assume that you to work for free. You educate these callers that simply because they claim to have no money or barter, you operate a business. No one gives you cakes, flowers, all the fixings or free photography.
Defining how bartering works is an ongoing escapade in futility. You helped a family no one else would. They were filmed. You spent your own money doing it. You also were told to pretend to make money while filming and giving the production company “more energy.”
You are exhausted. You have physically spent five days with little or no sleep juggling your existing clients who are actually paying you while trying to find more energy. You have a full schedule the month you are filming and one of your clients is a demanding diva you wished you had kicked to the curb. I had 8 clients the month we filmed Pawning Planners. I had a full schedule and my team was all over the place addressing their own bookings. One of my brides was so demanding that she called several times a day or emailed or showed up at my home. She was a problem for months and she was upset that her wedding wasn’t being filmed. She had hired me to Officiate a Vow Renewal but later changed it to 2 photographers and all of us on location 8 hours. I now REQUIRE CONTRACTS.
If you want to change of add on services, you sign a new contract. You also pay in full one week prior to the event. This is non negotiable. I no longer accept demanding divas as Clients. I never will again. You can’t pay me enough money to deal with a diva. But, that particular diva made my life a living Hell while attempting to look happy alongside my twin.
My other clients the month of filming were truly angels that recognized I was stressed and but, also trusted Cindy and I to address their needs with a burdened schedule. God Bless them all. These are the clients I treasure. These are the clients I want on my calendars. No more drama. No more scripted Clients. No more lies. No more putting myself or my sister in harms way. I’ve now changed the way I react to “opportunities.”
Filming is hard work. Filming while juggling other clients and your existing schedule when exhausted or in pain from a hernia is something you will never forget.
“TO gain KNOWLEDGE, is a GIFT, even if FAILURE, was YOUR only TEACHER.”
Anyone googling me will quickly realize that five days a week I’m either in a jail or prison, I’m doing traditional events on weekends and evenings and I’m either delivering items for Texas Twins Treasures, meeting Pawning Planners prospects or new clients with my twin sister, Cindy.
Anyone digging far enough will also realize that my son and his wife work as an Officiant/Photography Team. My niece, Leigh Ann is an Officiant and Photographer.
My grandnieces who are also twins work as flower girls, ring bearers, and Princesses at birthday parties and that Cindy and I work together as Officiants, coordinators. Floral designers, appraisers and jacks of all trades as a twin team.
My entire family work for me. Shocking right? Cindy and I work together. It isn’t difficult to figure out. It’s also quite clear that I am the only Prison Officiant on my staff.
Are people so fake today that real people are that hard to find? Has originality flown completely out the window with writers?
For years now, I’ve had production companies contact me with a “great idea.” YEARS. This “great idea” is always based on my clients but, with a twist. I can assure you that my clients, my family and my life could never be scripted.
Love After Lock Up is real. The clients I marry aren’t uneducated or poor. They are professionals with good jobs and great incomes. They are intelligent and articulate. They are real people.
I was blatantly clear that Prison Weddings and clients occupy a huge amount of my time and bookings. I had also added that a large portion of my Clients were LBGT.
Since Cindy and I were waiting on the Skype call before getting the call about having to drive to the homeless area of tent city and find Stephaney homeless again, my nerves and my patience were at an all time high.
Trying to convince me that you “can work a storyline in because Prison Weddings are controversial” goes completely against what was discussed prior to scheduling the Skype call.
My life is wholly and completely unscripted. I wish someone could script my family though. Perhaps the Partridge Family? My family occupies a large portion of my time. Cindy and I are together daily. We do everything together from work to family. Cindy and I cry together, laugh together and support one another wholeheartedly. Cindy is also funny. I’m not funny because I’m serious. In my line of work, comic skills are far from being part of my job although I do enjoy a number of surprises here and there.
My time is far too valuable to sit and listen about how others can “create or script” my life. Anyone following my blogs or social media is well aware that I’m blatantly and often gut wrenchingly honest. I don’t need to be like anyone else or someone’s idea of what we should be.
In fact, only a day after the other production company contacted me to schedule the Skype call, I was driving to Polunsky aka Death Row Unit when an email from Bell Tower came through.
Apparently, someone from the BBC was working on a documentary about prison weddings and trying to contact me at a venue that I happen to be on staff at. Bell Tower is for traditional wedding ceremonies.
The other production company that had left a phone message for me at Bell Tower Chapel. I had called them back too. I return all my calls.
Note: the number associated with me at Bell Tower is for booking at the Venue only. The producers wanted to do a documentary about Death Row inmates. My name came up over and over and they were attempting to contact me regarding input and possible filming.
Yesterday, I married a former Death Row inmate who was released to Hughes Unit. This is so rare that anyone unaware of a Prisoner transferring out of Death Row alive stunned me. I had never heard of this happening before.
Of course, I wouldn’t know about this until his fiancée told me. I do Death Row Prison Weddings as part of my job and no I don’t ask what anyone did or why they are there whether they are male or female.
The BBC weren’t trying to “create” a story. They were going with facts. They weren’t trying to make me or my twin sister into something we weren’t. We aren’t planning one elaborate event after the next. Elaborate events are a pain in the ass.
I handle up to 20-30 Prison clients a month. I prefer to spend one day or even a few hours at a Prison working and I often spend up to 3 months planning Prison Weddings. From what to wear to what to file or bring, give me a Prison wedding any day versus a “traditional over the top” affair.
Elaborate events involve divas and drama. I stay away from drama as much as possible because I have far more work than I can handle and because divas aren’t worthy my energy. Divas are a dime a dozen.
Divas want everything but rarely want to pay for it. Divas take months of your time and your schedule. If I never worked another “over the top” event in my life, it would be a relief.
My prison clients have a lifelong relationship with me. I plan and Officiate their Vow Renewal, I baptize their babies. My grandnieces dress up at princesses for their birthday parties.
Believe it or not- previous clients have long standing relationships with my family. They refer us to their friends and family. They are our “be backs” over and over again. I’ve never advertised or needed to.
We treat our clients like family. If their event is “too controversial,” for a production company, I have no idea why anyone wants to “create a faux business based on faux people” to pretend our real clients don’t exist?
I will keep my “controversial clients” because they have never been controversial to either me or my twin sister or my multigenerational family.
I.E. our clients love us because we treat them with the courtesy and compassion they deserve.
Cindy and I are different and we always have been.
If you are seeking David Tuttera, Bridezillas or other drama with clients, you won’t find them with me. Why? I refuse to work with people who are a problem. I refuse to work with clients that snap their fingers with outrageous demands and, I don’t have to work. I’m very picky.
If I never worked another day in my life, I would live comfortably. I’m picky about my clients because I can be. If others find them controversial, it’s their problem not mine. I’m not hiding my Clients or their Life Event in the sand and neither are they.
Up to 90% of all of my personal bookings are at Texas Prisons or Jails. I only work by referral with “traditional clients.” What does this mean? It means that other weddings or event services are either referrals, LBGT clients or booking at a venue I’m on staff at or if they are a last minute request, bumped to someone else on my team. I am the ONLY person on my staff that performs Prison Weddings.
Give me a Prison wedding over a “bridezilla” any day of the week. Unlike traditional clients, my TDCJ clients are thankful not demanding. Marrying an inmate is a lengthy process. There isn’t anyone complaining about the flowers or the cake because there aren’t any. There isn’t anyone getting drunk or arrested because there are no guests.
I prefer the structure of Prison Weddings and the fun of LBGT Weddings. Meaning- I don’t work with demanding divas anymore at over the top Weddings with over the top demands. My twin doesn’t either. We no longer have to take every job. Truthfully, we haven’t in many years. We work because we enjoy the work and the clients.
This morning while talking via skype to a production company with my twin sister, it was really difficult to mask our emotions. Why? Because unbeknownst to them, we were leaving the comfort of my home immediately after the call to drive to “Broken Heart Lane” and go find Stephaney. AGAIN.
Every ounce of normality in my life has flown out the window with my niece being the primary cause of strife. Stephaney sucks up all my emotions.
While we had hoped to at least get through Christmas without Stephaney getting released and disrupting our lives, JPS sucker punched us with an early release.
The release was due to the fact that Stephaney wouldn’t agree to their drug rehab program. More sad surprises awaited the Texas Twins with Stephaney.
Today, my niece is being released from JPS. Today, worrying about Stephaney will once again consume our lives and today, Cindy and I had prior commitments today and plans to go gift shopping but instead, we will be headed to skid row to once again drop off shoes, clothing and a cell phone to Stephaney.
JPS, dropped my niece off at East Lancaster because “they don’t keep people because they are homeless or have an addition issue and refuse treatment. They keep people because they are mentally ill or willing to go to drug rehab.” If you skip either option, they call a cab for the homeless shelter. Don’t be shocked. JPS deals with all of the homeless people in Fort Worth. They work with MHMR and try hard to get help for people who want it.
Many of the homeless people in the South area that is also widely known as “the boulevard of broken dreams” don’t have family members dropping off anything much less bus passes, cell phones or clothing because their family no longer care. It’s tragic but, true.
Trying to find my niece among at least a hundred homeless people was difficult but, doable. Giving her the phone we bought back less than two weeks ago from a homeless guy, we wondered if Stephaney would sell it again?
After circling the area for a few minutes, we found her waiting in line at the women’s shelter. The men’s is across the street. Tent city is one block over.
As usual, Stephaney refused rehab leaving us no choice but, to leave her in one of the most poverty stricken areas of Fort Worth. My sister sent the photo of me (below) to my niece Leigh Ann working a photo shoot in Parker County. Leigh Ann was checking in. Stephaney’s sister didn’t know she had been dropped off in the ghetto of sadness off East Lancaster.
Alerting her to what we were doing rather than what we had planned today while anxiously looking for Stephaney moments before actually finding her was the reality of our lives.
While only blocks away in downtown Fort Worth, other shoppers were enjoying lunch and the local flair of high end shopping, hotels & prosperity, the streets of sad luck stories on East Lancaster were remarkably less affluent. Children and mothers walked alongside others down on their luck. Stephaney’s choices have left even the Psych Ward tired of trying to help her but, it should be noted that they’ve only been at it fifteen months. Stephaney can be exhausting.
Cindy and I have tried it for 18 years. Six days after being picked up on a mental warrant, Stephaney handed me a bag of dirty clothes and told me to wash them and bring them back tomorrow. She was also laughing about her current situation. I could find no humor in Stephaney’s current situation.
I wonder why production companies think over the top is the only way you can be viewed? My life has a really wide range of emotions and I can assure you that every moment of every day of my life isn’t being spent with a “big personality.”
Everyone loves the barter option without realizing why it actually exists. There’s a reason. The reason is that if you come to me with nothing, we have to find something. Bartering covered the bases.
The Pawning Planners offered an option that didn’t involve payment. For people who had no money but did have something if value, it’s essential to understanding why The Pawning Planners filled the “gap” and more importantly, how.
Less than 5% of my clients actually use the barter option. Why? We only have the option for folks that claim to want a service while also claiming they have no money.
You are required to let us dig through your stuff and if it’s not worthy of flipping it you are too far from our location, this option is taken off the table altogether.
It’s expensive to refurbish antiques and other items. It’s expensive to transport and store items until you can refurbish and flip them. Pawning Planners is the last option not the first for Cindy and I. Meaning we have exhausted every other option before even visiting the barter option.
“You are so different.” Yea, we are survivors. Survivors don’t give up. Survivors figure it out. We are different because we had to be. Don’t attempt to make us like everyone else. We aren’t. We don’t judge anyone. Everyone is fighting their own battle. We accept this. We become the friends we’ve never had. Friends who listen and find solutions.
It’s difficult to find flip worthy items but, people crying poor mouth don’t want you to dig through their stuff so they pony up instead and leave the “I don’t have any money” stuff behind.
Pawning Planners Clients are rare. So rare that trying to film them on a regular basis in my schedule is pretty much impossible unless of course, it’s scripted.
Understanding just how small the margin of bartered event services is confuses people. Destination events and prison weddings often don’t even qualify due to distance and travel expenses. Because of this, the majority of our bookings are directly through Texas Twins Events and rarely if ever through The Pawning Planners. If you are claiming to be poor though, you must agree to let Cindy and I dig through your stuff trying to find something of value and, if we can’t, verify your actual circumstances. I.E. we don’t take your word for it.
In fact, I created The Pawning Planners specifically to screen people because I spent years taking their word for it about being broke and finding out later that most of the time, people lie. By going to your house, we find out whether you are truly needy or looking for a handout.
Trust me, The Pawning Planners stopped all the folks “asking for an apple and wanting a pie” from contacting us “because we help people.” We do help people but it’s a give and take not a free ride.
I could find no humor in a situation that I didn’t see improving with my niece. Instead, the harsh reality of my niece’s choices further broke my fragile heart.
The people staring at the black SUV and wondering why we were there made me nervous. I had left my jewelry at home but, we were out of place and yet again in a strange land of desperate people.
Homelessness is the true tragedy of those who surrounded my vehicle hoping we were handing out food, blankets or toiletries. Homeless men looked inside at Cindy and I as Stephaney walked to the SUV nearly unrecognizable. Don’t show fear. Act normal.
Stephaney looked happy to find her mother and I in the despair surrounding us. Her hair was a mess and she had lost at least 30 lbs. She was happy at a situation I found so bleak that my anger about her ability to laugh prevented me from crying.
Stephaney had asked for her cell phone and handed the bag dated 12-07-2018 full of dirty clothes to me. The date Cindy found her daughter. The date our mental warrant had less than one hour left before expiring.
The date we finally got Stephaney off the streets. My heart sank. Trying to act normal on the Skype call earlier knowing I would be seeing my niece again and not knowing what to expect left me with a range of emotion from fury to hopeless hurt. It’s Christmas and I’m in the middle of the most desperate area I’ve ever seen. My sister is beside me.
Cindy and I are both in a strange land with strange people when JT comes to Stephaney. We don’t know the others stories but, we do know that Stephaney with her long beautiful hair, perfect teeth and slight body do not fit in. This worries us. But, we are as usual, helpless with Stephaney. Stephaney stands out in this crowd of people with her manicured nails and beautiful face. She will never fit in with the people around her.
Stephaney needs to realize it’s rock bottom and claw her way back into a life of work, rehab and family. Tomorrow, I will try to talk her into this again. Tomorrow, I will return to East Lancaster to drop off laundered clothing before heading to Estes Unit for four weddings.
By 7AM, the Presbyterian Night Shelter will evict Stephaney and the other women and children. Everyone checks in at 3PM and our at 7AM. By 8:30AM, I will be searching the crowds attempting to locate my niece.
Cindy is working an event with Leigh Ann in Weatherford. I will try to convince my niece to allow me to feed her. I will try to convince her to allow me to put her in treatment but, I have a short window. I have many other responsibilities that cannot be rescheduled. Clients counting on me. My twin sister worrying about me.
My evening clothes waiting on me to quickly bathe and change clothes for an evening at Shady Oaks. Tomorrow, I will also end my busy day at Shady Oaks Country Club dressed to the nines coordinating an extravagant affair as if I don’t have a care in the world.
Tomorrow, I will once again mask my sorrow about Stephaney. Smiling and carefree, my mask of “being happy” at a holiday party at 5PM will return and my long day will last long into the night. My weekend is also booked solid. This is good. It occupies my mind.
Last year at Shady Oaks, Stephaney was already running wild. No one could tell my mind was preoccupied.
I’m a great actress. I had left my cell phone in the car last year in order to leave my family problems behind and put my happy face on last Christmas. My personal life was chaos at the time but, no one knew. Like the Jetsons, I pull a mask right out of the drawer and I’m “on.”Yesterday morning, Cindy and I left WorthamWorld to head to Hughes Unit. We were looking forward to getting back to work and back on the road after months of dealing with Cindy’s daughter, Stephaney.
My sister was unaware of what a millennial actually was until I brought up the similarities to her just outside of Mansfield, Texas to better explain to my sister that although Stephaney has an addiction issue that Stephaney believes Cindy’s home is hers.
Are all three of our adult children entitled? It’s a serious question that many parents fail to recognize. We overdo it. We give them far more than we ever had and subsequently, we raised entitled adults.
I can assure you that no parent wants a moocher for a child. I can also assure you that putting your life on hold while trying to force your adult child to get their shit together may be the hardest thing you ever do in the parenting aspect of your life too. How do I know? I’ve been there myself.
I’ve also watched my sister attempt to get both of her daughters some degree of independence while making her home a revolving door of a free hotel. Certainly, Cindy never planned this. Who would?
Currently, her adult daughter, Leigh Ann has been living with Steve and Cindy for four years. Although married, Leigh Ann’s husband wants to make her happy which is why when she finally became pregnant while he was stationed in Seattle, Leigh Ann had bought a one way ticket to DFW and arrived home again. The greatest gift Leigh Ann has given her mother and I is little Madyson.
Alex knows Leigh Ann is happiest “back at home.” Alex misses his daughter Maddy but, Cindy and I will miss her more when Leigh Ann leaves to join Alex in Oxnard this summer.
Madyson is a character. At three years old, this kid is hilarious. Maddy has brought laughter into our lives and Maddy keeps Cindy and I smiling. Maryssa, Makenna and Madyson bring us smiles everyday. Maryssa and Makenna will miss young Maddie as much as we will. I should add that my sister has done everything humanly possible to be the mother and grandmother that we have never known.
Cindy overcompensated and spoiled both her adult daughters and all three granddaughters who live with her. I’m guilty of overdoing it with my son too. We did everything for them that our own family had never done for us.
Cindy had rules regarding her other daughter, Stephaney. Cindy forbid drug use and Cindy has been drug through Stephaney’s choices. Stephaney has caused us so much grief that my sisters health now suffers. Stephaney thinks Cindy’s home is hers.
Years ago, at eighteen, my son was living with me. My sons friend came over while my husband and I were at work and stole thousands of dollars of tools from our garage area. My fury over this has never fully dissipated.
While my husband and I were out working to afford our home, my son’s dipshit friends were coming in to rob it. This issue caused so much strife that I made my own rules. Where was my son at the time Seth was stealing? I will never know.
I also decided that none of my sons friends who smiled to my face were at the same time, also “scoping out my home” and because of my son were welcome in it. I changed that with a “no friend rule” whether my husband and I were home or not. My sons friends weren’t my friends. Many of them although they attended private school were con artists and knew how to smooch up to parents.
My son was naive about this theft and my son was angry that I was angry and my husband upset at having our home the one place in the world we should feel safe was being rifled by his friends. It was a huge blow up between my son and I.
My husband remained quiet. His trust of his stepson was questioned. My son had let Seth leave through the garage rather than the front door where he casually loaded up my husband’s tools at his convenience. It would be difficult to work through this “frenemy” issue but, we did with new rules. Our rules. Our home.
At 18, my son had a set of new rules that included paying rent, no guests, home by 10 or the doors were locked and subsequently, my son moved out. I helped him pack.
I love my son but, independence can only be learned by allowing the birds to leave the nest. My rules weren’t unreasonable. Fifty dollars a week in rent was easily affordable. I love my son and always will but, loving his wife is often far more trying.
Four years ago, my sons house burned down. My son and his wife needed a place to stay. Having your adult children move home is a real stressor but, having your adult children and their spouse is a real eye opener.
My daughter in law was upset that I wouldn’t allow their four dogs to join them. I was upset that this issue was even brought up in the first place. I’m not running a hotel.
I did not want four dogs upsetting my dog, Foxy while also tearing up our entire home with chaos. I advised my son and his wife that their four dogs were a deal breaker.
If you ever hear me use this term- understand it’s a serious line in the sand. My family does.
After sixty days of my son and his wife squatting at WorthamWorld when I wasn’t cleaning or cooking while kissing ass to keep a keep peace in my home between my son, his wife and my husband, I asked them to leave. My home had become a war zone.
My daughter in law is also a millennial. She expected fresh laundry and hot meals. She expected me to be the maid and the cook and she brought up her four dogs on a regular basis. My daughter in law is entitled.
My daughter in law would manage to lose my sons and her home ten months ago after moving her deadbeat relatives into it. My daughter in law can be a dipshit. Her choices have made my sons life far more difficult. My husband had threatened to leave if I didn’t force my son and his wife to leave instead.
I can’t begin to tell you how difficult this was and right after Christmas no less but, I can tell you that after they did leave, peace returned to our home!
Nine months ago, my daughter in law had my son asked if they could move in with my husband and I along with her cousin, Jordan and his son, Malaki. My daughter in law was shocked that I said no.
For nearly ten months now, my daughter in law blames me for not allowing my home to become a hotel. I don’t care. I love my son but, being a doormat will cause my husband to run.
Responsibility is learned not earned. If you don’t hold your adult child accountable for their actions, I can assure you that they never will.
Cindy is far more a softie than I am. Cindy held out hope that Stephaney would get her life together and Cindy had been raising Stephaney’s twin daughters for fourteen years now. My sister is now learning about Tough Love. My sister is not accepting that while other family members thought I was an ass for kicking my son and his wife out four years ago and declining to invite them and Stephaney’s cousin along with his son into my home with their four dogs or that I put my marriage and my life along with my home as a priority.
My son is an adult. His wife is an adult. They are both nearly 30 years old but, my son let Stephanie move her relatives into their home while working three jobs on his own to save their home. His wife not surprisingly wasn’t working during this window and expected me to cover $3800 to save them from foreclosure.
After spending tens of thousands of dollars over the years to help my son since leaving home at 18, I chose not to take on their burden. Why? Because it would be a bandaid. Because I knew that Stephanie and her relatives wouldn’t get out and help row a sinking ship. I was right.
For months prior to the foreclosure, I got plenty of calls about fixing their problem but, whenever I suggested everyone living in the home get a job, an argument ensued. I cannot save the world. I cannot spend my retirement fixing everyone else’s problems. I also cannot go broke trying to fix stupidity.
For years now, I’ve advised my twin sister “if we don’t cut these people off, we will be in our 70’s living in a nursing home because we’ve spent every nickel we have on our entitled kids. I can promise you they wouldn’t care if we went broke on them. I can also assure you that we have done everything humanly possible to help them, guide them and give them sage advice. We must now focus on ourselves. The twins are our priority.”
We are now realists. We had no one to help us. We came from a miserable excuse of a family and, we survived. We had nothing and worked our butts off to leave poverty behind. Our adult children think we owe them a living but, we don’t. Cut them off.”
The current situation with Stephaney came to a head yesterday when she called Cindy on our way to Hughes Unit.
Stephaney was crying and saying “I need my family.” Hmm, she needs her family? The family that for 31 years has sacrificed to save her from herself. The family that has been raising her twin daughters for fourteen years. Stephaney wants to come “home.” Stephaney’s choices have made moving home a deal breaker.
The family that has her mother with health issues now at 54 years old and Cindy’s husband at 67 driving a truck 6 days a week to keep a roof over all three of his granddaughters, his wife and Cindy’s daughter, Leigh Ann.
Do you see how the nursing home isn’t as crazy as it sounds? If Steve were to die, Cindy would be forced to sell their home because at 54, you cannot collect Social Security.
Cindy and I are realists. Cindy and I recognize our husbands want to retire which would literally cut our income in half. Cindy and I have a responsibility to the twins and our husbands. We do not have a responsibility to our adult children.
These are hard choices for any parent to finally put their own needs first. I had dropped Cindy to thrift shop in Gatesville while I met my bride to prepare for her wedding. I knew nothing about the groom as I don’t Google anyone.
My reason for this is that I don’t want to form an opinion based on Google prior to walking into a Texas Prison.
While waiting for the guards, my bride told me her fiancé was featured on Netflix I’m A Killer Episode 4. This surprised me as I don’t have Netflix and had never heard of the show. I was about to marry a reality star famous for being on a docu reality show about being a murderer although he didn’t kill anyone? Shocking right?
My Bride was beautiful, excited and marrying someone who most likely would never have signed up for the show had he known the title of the series.
Production Companies don’t disclose the details. Production companies want ratings. I’m guessing my groom had no idea that the show he signed up for was titled in a way that made him sound as if he was a cold blooded killer. Production companies love “shock value.”
The fact is that the groom wasn’t actually a killer and was in Polunsky on Death Row prior to being moved to Hughes Unit.
For the record, my groom was friendly, and anything but intimidating. For the record, standing next to him didn’t bother me one but.
For the record, my couple were thrilled to be marrying. Before running off to email me your opinion about this wedding, bear in mind that opinions don’t affect my clients. They are as excited as anyone else to finally be married.
Dr Phil’s Producers called me again yesterday about Stephaney. Dr Phil’s love drama and chaos or spinning the truth. Producers lied to Stephaney. If you’ve never watched the show you should. Why? Because the families are blamed rather than the dipshit destroying everyone else’s life that’s why. Production companies put a “spin” on things for a living. Realize this.
I’ve earned a stellar reputation and I’m not willing to be blamed for Stephaney’s choices on national television about my niece in order to “maybe” get her help with Dr Phil. Yet, they keep asking. They want drama. They want pain. Your pain. Set the stage. Roll the film. Bring their tattered family with them. We want to hurt them more and blame them for having a family member who continually wreaks havoc.
Dr Phil’s Producers promised to fix Stephaney’s teeth and get her into treatment. Dr Phil’s Producers lied. They only want the entire family to film.
They want to victimize the victim and they were once again trying to talk Cindy and I into doing the show. I politely declined. Spare us Dr Phil because we have already suffered enough. Spare Stephaney’s twin daughters the embarrassment. They are already being home schooled. Spare us being blamed by Stephaney and put on a pedestal by you.
My former Death Row prisoner was kind and articulate. For those of you wondering if I’m scared. I’m not. For those of you telling me I’m going to get killed walking into a prison, you have no idea how controlled a prison is or how well mannered inmates are to me. Your imagination is getting the better of you.
For those of you wondering who my client is- it isn’t the inmate. The person on the outside finds me and we work through their Prison wedding planning process together. For those of you who don’t believe in prison weddings, Love Is Love.
My former Death Row inmate was kind enough to loan me his readers as I can only bring one pair of glasses into the unit and don’t wear bifocals.
Our aunt finds the truth embarrassing. Cindy advised our aunt that we are sick of acting like everything is normal when it’s far from it. We put on our happy faces and act like nothing is wrong when it actually is. Stephaney is ruining our lives.
By the time I had left the Unit and found a few fun places for photos, I called Cindy and heard all about it.
Coincidentally at the same time, my son and his wife were returning from Las Vegas to DFW three hours from where Cindy and I were and needing a ride from the airport?! Unable to locate an Uber, I was forced to call my Agency limo driver, Kevin and pay an outrageous fee to have transportation for my son and his wife.
“I never do enough.” Whatever. I had a chip on my shoulder about it since I was against this trip to Las Vegas but, although I wasn’t taking a vacation, I was still handling travel arrangements. Ironic isn’t it? While working, I’m also fielding calls, dealing with stress and as usual, my family.
Cindy and I discussed the many people contacting me after reading my blogs and our Skype interview today. We discussed the parents being forced to sue their son to get him to leave. We discussed how according to our adult kids, we never do enough. We discussed our husband’s eyeing retirement. We discussed trying to finish Christmas shopping. We discussed acting normal in a world far from it and we discussed Stephaney.
Stephaney called while we were driving home and discussed wanting to come home. That’s right, after all that she’s dragged us through, Stephaney “didn’t like being homeless.” Stephaney like my son needs to be accountable for choices and actions that have put her where she is now. Steph wants to come home? That’s not even an option now.
Today, Stephaney is being moved to the Presbyterian Night Shelter. Today, Stephaney is crying. Today in less than an hour, Cindy will be forced to put our happy faces on. Big energy, big personalities.
Today, Cindy and I will pretend that we haven’t spent our entire lives trying to force our adult children to make better choices. Today we will discuss our work and leave our family out of the conversation. Today, as usual, we will be actresses.
Coincidentally at about the same time as this Skype call, Stephaney will be transported to a homeless shelter. We cannot control this or save Stephaney.
Today, we must put her choices out of our mind and focus on filming, Clients and throwing the opinions of our “embarrassed family members” in the trash. We can suggest they move Stephaney in with them though and, we have.
We can pray for the many people contacting us to thank us for sharing our pain. We can hope that these people find resolution. We can give them insight and a kind ear and today, we can realize that we aren’t alone…,