“WORK ethics ARE like COOKING, without THE right INGREDIENTS, reliability, dedication AND productivity, NOBODY gets FED.” Cindy Daniel
I’m often asked a lot of questions from people who consider themselves to be “too busy” to do any research. Entitlement is becoming more and more predominant this year. You don’t owe anyone an education they don’t possess and are too lazy to acquire on their own and I don’t either.
I’m busy. I work 6-7 days a week and take calls, answer emails and file paperwork in my “off time from location traveling.” My biggest investments are time and travel so I don’t waste time trying to “enlighten” anyone in the media. If they want to pay me as a consultant, I might consider it but otherwise have neither the interest nor the tolerance to do someone’s job for them. Some might call me blunt or Bitchy. Others might call me transparent, candid, raw or real. I don’t particularly care what they call me because my focus is in front of me not the people chasing behind me. My back is at them with forethought and intention.
If you aren’t a priority to me you aren’t my luggage and you aren’t my trip. Educating people who believe they are too important to educate themselves regarding myself, my family and my clients who I view as an extension of my family is a protective conversation. Why? I don’t disclose why an inmate is incarcerated or their names. Why? Because society as a whole believes all the media BS that is spoon fed to them that “anyone loving an inmate is either unstable or incredibly lonely or that 100% of inmate marriages end in divorce.” What a load of horse shit. Ask someone who knows, me.
A few years ago, Sandy of Wedding Island who was a connection on LinkedIn posted a comment “I don’t believe in inmate marriages. They all end in divorce.” Hopefully, smart ass Sandy unconnected but if you are reading this, why don’t you provide proof Sandy? You are pretty opinionated without any basis of fact. Most people are because they are glued to scripted shows like Love After Lockup depicting anyone loving an inmate as mentally unstable.
Let’s move on to the donut hole of millions of people who do love an inmate that the entertainment industry is too ignorant to recognize. Further, why every detention officer is portrayed in a negative light? Do you realize how many people work at prisons? Do you recognize that if you would portray correctional officers in a positive rather than negative light along with people who love an inmate that it wouldn’t be necessary to fabricate storylines of sensationalism? You should but research isn’t your specialty. Dreaming up “characters” is. Reality TV is such rubbish these days that I’m shocked networks can find sponsors. For the record, all of my clients feel slighted and offended that shows depicting them as crazy, unstable or lonely exist in the first place.
Networks are missing the far larger picture of how many people love or know an inmate. Research for yourselves. Further, I’ve met many amazing and dedicated Chaplain’s, Wardens and CO’s. Not everyone that works in the prison or law enforcement industry is anywhere close to how media portray them to be. The number of people who work in or for the prison system would astound you too.
Wednesday was spent bouncing from Parker & Palo Pinto Jail’s. My son and his wife covered Seattle to San Francisco a few weeks ago. This week they were covering Nebraska. Cindy was busy covering ICE and County. I was logging about 2k miles.
Thursday I was at TDCJ Beto Unit with 3 brides. I call this “stacking.” Prior to Covid I stacked Units. Post Covid this is damn near impossible as waiting on prescreening can easily run 1-2 hours at many Units due to short staffs and in many cases disorganization. I can and do stack Polunsky as it’s a death row Unit that only schedules weddings after 5PM.
Arriving at Beto where my favorite Chaplain Strange is always organized and notifies the staff, the duty CO at the gate told me “one of your brides is already here.” I took her one of our sequin masks and a gift bag of designer perfume and a coffee mug that read “Wifey.” We had a few minutes to visit waiting on my second bride to arrive.
By the time my second bride cleared the duty gate with no idea where my last bride was, I emailed Chaplain Strange. “We are on site. I have 2 brides but we are being held at the gate.” He called the gate. I still had no idea where my third bride was and if she was too late, a reschedule would occur. My anxiety kicked in. The duty CO waived us in. I rolled in next to my first bride who was earlier than I was which is unusual and walked over to my second bride to hand her a sequin face mask and gift bag as well. I then told her I would check in with the birdcage CO to announce our arrival.
We were already prescreening and still no sign of my 3rd bride. Oh no a reschedule was being discussed. I didn’t have her phone number because my phone was in my suv and her file was at my office. Chaplain Strange attempted to try contacting her. My other 2 brides and I were escorted into the visitation area. I wondered if Shronda would be allowed in due to her running so far behind. Oh dear. I kept looking out the window hoping Shronda would arrive.
Finally we were advised that Shronda was on site and that she would be prescreened then allowed into the visitation area. I was relieved. Now to get started.
Chaplain Strange asked me “which do you want to do first?” Since my bride who was early was on site first, I chose her.
Chaplain Strange is the only Chaplain who takes photos on his cell phone and emails them to me. This is important to note because after all it is a wedding. I do my own bridal photos with our massive inventory and all of our brides and groom either receive a complimentary Texas Twins Treasures wedding ring or if they already have one, an Italian sterling silver adjustable tennis bracelet. I know other vendors can’t believe the things we do but that’s why we are in demand because we give clients everything Cindy and I never had for ourselves. The rings the bouquets, the tiaras, the inventory, the beautiful photos and gifts as well as treating them to lunch if we have time to.
Leaving the Unit, two of my brides had time for lunch and bridal photos but one didn’t. Since she lives in Fort Worth, we plan to get her bridal shoot scheduled when I have time.
My other two brides followed me to the barbecue joint down the street from TDCJ Beto. One of them was driving an suv with no A/C so I suggested they both ride in my suv and drove to Palestine where I treated them to lunch and had a great time getting to know all about them before we did their bridal photos.
Today between jails, conference calls and packing to head out of town for weekend events, my daughter in law, Stephanie asked me to watch my son and since one my grandniece twins, Maryssa had a Dr Appt, Cindy joined me to keep an eye on Oliver. I edited bridal photos from this week myself and mailed them via priority along with marriage licenses and enjoyed having my good natured grandson laughing in my backseat. He’s such a good baby.
Leigh Ann was having trouble with Maddy and homeschooling this week but by today is proud of Maddy catching on. She wanted to wait to travel back to Texas until she was comfortable with homeschooling and will be returning to Texas for a few months later this month. Leigh Ann prefers living with my twin and gets lonely when her husnand is deployed and let’s face it, Cindy and I love having Maddy here.
I hope everyone has safe travels to visits and look forward to seeing all of our clients very soon…