Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I am not your bail bondsman

Last night, we got a collect call at the cafe.

Intrigued, I accepted the charges. Who the hell would be calling us collect? Only one possible reason for that, in my limited experience with collect calls........"I'm in MCC" the voice on the other end of the line explained.

Ah yes, the call from jail.

It just wouldn't be the holidays without one.

Strangely enough, the call was not coming from one of my co-workers. Or one of our kids or husbands.

It was a customer.

I mean, of course he's a friend. And of course we were concerned.
But the week before Christmas is no time to start posting bail unless you are trying to get daddy out of prison to help stuff christmas cards and hang lights and assemble this fucking dollhouse your little darling wanted. In that situation, you pay the piper - because it's probably cheaper then paying someone else to help you get all of this shit done on time. And because why the HELL should he get to hang out in jail watching TV and having someone cook for him, while you're stuck at home with the kids and the work and the holiday prep?

So we passed the phone around, took some notes, gave him some numbers, wished him luck at the bail hearing, and went back to work. But all night long, I was thinking about that call. About that guy, sitting in jail the week before Christmas.

Where the hell is his family? Doesn't he have a mother to call?

And then I thought about it some more. I thought about raising sons, and how I would react if *my* kid was in jail. The kid I have spent so much time loving and worrying about, supporting and encourging. The long hours I work to pay for school and sports equiptment and food and transportation. I put everything I have into raising these kids. And if all that I have isn't enough to keep them out of jail, well.......I would be devastated.

Tonight I will sit down with my blue eyed monster, and have a little chat with him.

Not "the" chat - because I just can't bear it - but a chat that goes a little something like this:
I am raising you to be a good boy, and a law-abiding citizen. If you do something so bad that you get put in jail.........don't call me. I won't bail you out. I'll let you sit there and think about it, and hopefully learn something from the experience.
But you should try calling the cafe. Someone there might take the call.


Naturally Alise said...

Wow that he didn't really have anyone else to call. So glad you are having that conversation...

8 said...

I know so well that feeling. I've never been in jail, and my child hasn't (yet)- but I know what you're talking about. It's not that, but it seems like when they act up, when they get poor grades or draw on the car, they are deliberately going against everything you ever said to them. It drives me to distraction.

I know, intellectually, that's not it- they are making mistakes, just like we did. But you just want to shake them, saying, "Have you listened to me at ALL? EVER?"

Kitty Deschanel said...

I love this post! I used to work with a woman who was constantly bailing her useless son, who was also a fellow employee - maybe not the best place to work, out of jail. She was struggling to get by at it was and her son never showed any remorse over his actions. If anything, he thought being arrested was funny. I always thought bail shouldn't have even been an option for him.