SUCCESS starts with DETERMINATION and a GOAL. FAILURE begins with CHAOS and a WISH.
The past month has been chaotic not due to my lack of planning and preparation but instead due to the unpredictable nature of two groups, my clients and my family.
I left TDCJ Hughes Unit at 1PM on February 22nd and treated my clients to lunch and then completed bridal photos prior to heading to Wichita Falls to stay at a hotel with my clients.
How I managed to “look normal and carefree” on 2-22-22 was anyones guess but the truth is I’ve lived a lifetime of “looking normal” with a shitstorm or chaos in my rearview mirror. What do I mean? On the way to Hughes the group home lady, Angela had called me about my niece. The niece who for 17.5 years has relapsed over and over again. The niece who is the reason that at 40 years old my twin sister gave up her job to raise her twin granddaughters.
No one has any real idea of the pain, heartbreak or financial struggles anyone who loves an addict endures UNLESS they love an addict.
I was about an hour outside of Gatesville when I took this call. About an hour from arriving at a Unit where I would need to have my shit together. Professional, educated, knowledgeable, prepared. I pulled over.
I’m so sick of the Stephaney cyclone you have no idea. I talked with myself about this latest cyclone. “Get it together. Hide your pain. Don’t call Cindy.”
I advised the group home lady to get a 51/50. This is a 72 hour involuntary hold that usually dries out and sobers up an addict. My anxiety was high. My husband would be home. My neighbors would see more stupid antics. Neighbors who don’t look at or speak to me after years of my niece pulling her crazy crap at my upscale neighborhood. She even squatted at an estate next door to me for months.
Addicts are selfish, self destructive narcissistic bastards. They don’t give a damn who they take down. My twin had a heart attack while I was driving Stephaney to treatment for the 14th time in Oklahoma. I barely got her to the hospital in time to save her. Stephaney didn’t care. I often wonder if she’s trying to kill us?
My father died while I was on my way to Terrell Unit. My brothers son had been arrested for felony possession of cocaine on 1-18-22. My brother wanted his son at the funeral. He didn’t show. He was out getting high and catching 2 more felony possession charges while out on bond. Addicts don’t care. They never will. They are sociopaths.
I finally cried leaving Gatesville to Wichita Falls. Stephaney’s now 34 years old. My nephew, Frankie 24 going on 25. No one can save anyone refusing to save themselves.
Pulling over for gas and consistently getting lit about how hard it now is to find to find it is combined with how expensive, my mind drifts to being a child during the fuel crisis in the 70’s. Our grandfather owned a gas station. At the time I hadn’t overcome stuttering. It would be years before I finally did. There was another issue, I was also dyslexic.
Why did it matter? My twin and I worked at the damn gas station that’s why. Left alone with insane people changing plates and fighting over running out of fuel.
Cindy and I were to write down plates. Even one day. Odd the next. It was a miserable job. Neighbors fighting and arguing. Violence all around us.
If you are too young to remember the 70’s, you will have a refresher course of history coming REAL soon. Importing fuel from your enemies is stupid as hell and it’s been done before WITH disastrous results AKA “1970’s fuel crisis.”
Google OPEC Oil Crisis. Shutting down a U.S. self sufficient pipeline to import fuel because you think or believe it will “save the environment” is ignorant and based on mind numbing media spins.
Inflation is at an all time high. Raising the interest rate doesn’t help inflation. What it does is make everything so damn expensive that no one buys which is how shit works.
I’m consistently shocked at how stupid people are happily spooning up their media fed rage, bias and ignorance. We are one year into this shit show and it’s costing 30-40% more to live. It’s also costing businesses like my own that require travel to pass these expenses to clients and consumers.
I’m not a volunteer. I write $35-45k checks for my SUVs which I need to haul my inventory. I also pay for tires, toll fees, scheduled maintenance, windshields, gas and assume all risk each and every time I hit the road. What I do assumes ALL risk and costs ME money. I also provide jewelry, gifts, an extensive inventory so my clients have the same bridal photos as free world clients. Everything you see in MY photos I own. I edit photos and pay for prints. I also pay postage to mail photos to my clients.
Occasionally I even rent hotels for my clients and always buy them a meal if I have time and if I don’t, send them money to buy a meal on their way back home. No one does what I do. No one will because what I do costs an incredible amount of money AND time to do.
Did I anticipate 3 days of hotel expenses in Wichita Falls for myself and my clients? Hell no but it is what it is. People who use this term have accepted what we can’t change. I did years ago.
I can’t change my niece. I can’t change my nephew. I couldn’t change my mom, my dad or grandparents. I can’t control other people. What I can do is control how I react.
Franchell was arriving at the hotel at 8PM. I had messaged Rekeisha upon learning that we had no records on her. No client file. No deposit. Nothing. Rekeisha was a con artist. Stay tuned. I’ve met a few in my life and they are always memorable.
Due to the weather the hotel was sold out after Franchell, her daughter and I booked rooms. I sent a text to Rekeisha that I would leave a room key at the front desk to my room. I didn’t know anything about her and here I was worried she would have to sleep in her car. I had advised her to bring my fee with her though because I was lit she kept being evasive about not returning her contract, paying her deposit or balance.
As a general rule require payment in full 7 days prior to an event date. Every damn time I haven’t I get bit in the ass.
By 7AM Franchell and I were downstairs getting breakfast. I liked her as well as her daughter. We had enjoyed a late dinner the night prior. The sleet and snow had arrived about 4AM. Franchell had AWD. Due to soaring gas prices, I haven’t been driving the Jeeps and was in one of the Santa Fe’s. Franchell would drive. I go by the front desk because now I know we will need rooms another night. I was right. The desk clerk tells me “your friend never picked up her room key.” Hell I already knew that I had just left me room but okay.
Look at this point I didn’t give a shit. Rekeisha was non responsive to my texts and phone calls. She hadn’t paid me and I didn’t have time to worry about her flighty ass. Franchell and I went to our rooms and got ready to drive 12-14 minutes in good weather to Allred Unit. It took an hour. We were 1 of 6 other vehicles on the road. Franchell is from Amarillo and a bad ass. She wasn’t scared. I was terrified.
Rolling into Allred Rekeisha sends a text “I rolled my car in Clay County.” I looked at Franchell and said “we will be cancelled if we don’t get in there. We will deal with her after we get you married.” I know the policy so I don’t Jack around when it comes to prison weddings. If Rekeisha had arrived last night rather than driving out in the morning, she wouldn’t be in a ditch. I watch weather like a lunatic. I have to. My role REQUIRES travel, planning and forethought.
I advised Chaplain Redwine “Rekeisha is at Clay County Hospital about 24 miles from here and at least an hour in this weather coming and going. Would it be possible to get her married if we are back before visitation begins? He agreed. Franchells wedding was also non contact due to a phone call the Friday before my scheduled ceremonies on 2-23-22. Someone had called the Unit reporting a cell phone in her fiancées cell. This took a contact ceremony (general population) to non contact (Ad seg). Not surprisingly Franchell was more than upset because the ability to hold his hands after years had been taken from her and NOW we had to go SAVE Rekeisha. What a cluster eff. No time to grieve while we go run off and drive in solid ice to get Rekeisha who should have been at the hotel last night.
Arriving at Clay County Hospital, I couldn’t find her and we wound up driving in circles to find the ER. I finally walked in and got her. She was wearing an apple smart watch and carrying an MCM handbag. I’m pointing these facts out for a reason. She also didn’t appear to have rolled a car and knocked out all of the windows either. Where was the bruising from air bags? Scratches from glass? Something was going on.
Franchell needs gas. I ask Rekeisha “did you bring my money?” She tells me the stupidest shit explanation I’ve heard in years. “I left my money in my car because it flew everywhere.” Yet she has that damn purse? Umm hmm. She also has a stack of credit cards in a rubber band. I tell her “go get the money out of the atm.” She says “I only have about $70 on all these cards.” Wtf? She hasn’t paid me. We just went through Hell to save her. Nobody leaves money in a car about to be towed.
Where was ANY evidence of an accident? Yea I am a thinker. Where was her family? Her clothes? Her money? Who carries around a stack of cards that don’t work?
Arriving back AT Allred Unit, I go in and get Rekeisha married although I warily know I’m not going to get paid. Why? Because once people GET what they WANT they never pay you for it. I’ve been in this business ten years. I know BS when I see it.
We go back to the hotel. I’m hot. Flying in lit. Now I’ve got this deadbeat staying in my hotel room. She tells me she needs clothes in a size small. I’m shouldering all of the expenses and she hasn’t paid me and now she wants to act entitled wearing that watch and carrying that handbag?
I’m not buying her clothes. I said “there are washers and dryers here. Go use them.” Her “I don’t have anything to wear.” Me “why did you leave your clothes AND the money you owed me in the car? Why aren’t you calling the insurance company or wrecker yard? Where are photos of the car?” No good answers. She’s hungry. Now she wants food. I’m still pissed off.
I text Franchell “get your daughter we are going to a late lunch.” I will bring Rekeisha a meal back but I damn sure am not buying her clothes. I’m now highly suspicious. So is Franchell.
We are gone about an hour or 2. Rekeisha keeps texting me. I’m pissed off she’s in my hotel room. Why isn’t she contacting her insurance company OR the tow yard? Why does she keep saying she doesn’t want Franchell to take her ti get her things out of the car? BECAUSE THERE IS NO DAMN CAR.
Thursday morning I have a uti from spending hours in the car and not emptying my bladder. I’m miserable. I call Cindy to check refills on my macrobid. I have 2. I call one into Walgreens down the street from the hotel the text Franchell.
We both now know I need to get Rekeisha out of my room. Nothing is adding up. Nothing. I buy AZO, pick up my prescription and cranberry juice. We devise a plan. I will tell Rekeisha my son is coming and since the hotel is sold out I’m going to need the spare bed. She doesn’t like this. Her side of the room is covered in trash. I have to walk through it. I abhor slovenliness. I’m ocd. I also cannot tolerate deception. She argues “where will I go I don’t have anyone to call.” Who the eff doesn’t have anyone to call???
I text Franchell “meet me downstairs.” I explained my scenario. She agrees. We know nothing about her other than she’s a moocher. We decide to get Franchells daughter and go to lunch again. Rekeisha keeps texting me. I’m sick of her. Sick of her lies. She’s an opportunist AND I now need to retain hotel rooms for Franchell and I for Thursday night.
There’s no damn way I’m putting up with another night with Rekeisha and her sketchy ass story. Hell I don’t think there WAS a car. Neither does Franchell.
Somethings going on. I need her out. As usual I bring back food for her. “Where’s my clothes? You didn’t buy me any clothes?” I said “call a friend. Call your parents. Get them to send you money AND rent you a room.”
She now says she can’t find that Apple Watch. I don’t touch other peoples shit. It was on the table and by her side of the room. She goes on and on about a watch a few hours later I see her wearing in the elevator.
I go to dinner with Franchell. We discuss all this weird shit. Franchell thinks Rekeisha is running a con. I do too but at least she’s out of my damn hotel room.
Friday morning my son has Wichita County Jail I’ve got to fly out. I offer for my son to drive Rekeisha. Franchell even graciously does too. She’s non responsive. I’m at the airport at noon when she texts “did you leave the hotel?” Damn right we did and she should’ve taken us up on getting a ride.
For all I know she’s still in Wichita Falls. Leaving I get a call from someone stood up by “another officiant at Beto.” This shit happens all the damn time. I’ve been cleaning up messes these so called “other officiants” pull FOR YEARS. I can’t save anyone I’m not a volunteer. I ask her to send me documentation. I then send her $75 to file a theft of lawsuit against that other officiant. I then contact Beto to switch officiants from the idiot who kept the fee and didn’t perform the job to myself. Be cautious. There are far too many of you paying a Dipshit that is going to keep your money. I can’t SAVE everyone. My focus IS on MY clients.
Meanwhile walking into County I get a call from a bride who ghosted me at McConnell Unit in October. McConnell us 5.5 hours ONE WAY from my location. She was SUPPOSED to pay her fee on wedding day and ghosted me. Now she wants me to do it again. Eff that. I will no longer trust anyone to show up. Pay in FULL one week prior or good luck to you. I advise her if this non negotiable term AND the fee that is no longer what it was in October due to soaring fuel costs, wear and tear on my vehicles and because I’m still mad as hell about that shit so I tell her “take it or leave it. You cost me an entire day of driving. I’m no longer playing games OR trusting anyone to honor their commitments. I’m the only MF that DOES around here.” I meant it.
Last night someone contacted me regarding a payment plan. I’m not a loan company. Your 5 page contract is clear. Pay your booking deposit. Return your contract. Pay your balance in full 7 days prior to the event date OR I will cancel and won’t reschedule until you honor the requirements of my booking procedure. Period. Non negotiable.