Friday, January 21, 2011

You would think when a day starts at jail, that it would have to get better. You would also be wrong.

At 10:15am, safely before the 11am cutoff, we swerved through the gates and into the parking lot of the correctional center. We swerved only because I almost missed the turn, and had no idea where to go.

I am not that familiar with the parking lot of the local prison. Is the entrance a one way only situation, or do I have to stay to the right? Should I go around that pole in the middle of the road? Perhaps at this point I might prefer to drive into it head-on.

Please forgive me, old lady who gave me stink eye as I attempted to parallel park without scraping my paint on the barbed wire. I was doing the very best that I could.

We pulled the paper grocery sack out of the trunk, making sure we had everything on the check list, and that it was all labeled clearly. We double checked that those sexy sneakers were still in there. Drawstrings were removed, each article of clothing was free of pockets and logos, freshly washed in lavender scented detergent, and folded carefully. As we walked together towards the guardshack, we were both feeling......uncomfortable. It is very unsettling to approach a prison, designed to keep people from getting out, and enter it willingly. It just goes against your natural instinct. If you go in, you might not get out. So really, you shouldn't go in there.

But the man needed clean underwear.

We opened the door cautiously, and the officer was already processing another care package. He asked us to wait outside and we were thrilled to comply. When our turn came, we re-entered just as hesitantly, and waited for him to speak.

The officer was, in a word, efficient. He was kind, and answered our questions, and even cracked a smile at one of my inappropriate comments (In response to his asking who I was and why I was there) about how I must be the lucky one since I have the land line and get all the phone calls from jail.

He asked us to take everything out of the bag and went through each item carefully to make sure that it met the requirements. Then he got to the shoes, and looked at them curiously.
Uh Oh.

"Um, you can't have laces, right? I got the velcro because I figured if you can't have drawstrings you can't ha-"
He was shaking his head. "I don't know why, but shoelaces are okay."

F. U. C. K.

So not only is this guy in prison, but he's gonna be stuck wearing the geriatric specialty shoes I picked up at Walmart. Awesome. Please don't let him figure out that the sweatpants are from the women's department. That would just be cruel.

Once everything was checked in, we were handed a bag of clothes - I assume what he was wearing when he was arrested - and we walked out the door clutching the small plastic bag and reaching for keys and the forbidden cellphones.

To our credit, no matter how much we wanted to, we did not break into a run as soon as we hit the parking lot.

Tomorrow, the continuing adventures of The Day I Went to Jail. Here's a hint: prison was kind of the highlight of the day.

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