A few weeks ago, I met Latonya at the Tarrant County Clerks Office to buy her marriage license. Country clerks are far less familiar with inmate marriage. It is not uncommon for me to redirect a client to another clerks office. This “redirection” isn’t limited to Texas either. Experience matters. I know what to do and how to overcome the unforeseen.
The number one reason for an I60 Request For Marriage to be denied is that the inmate is ALREADY listed as Common Law Married to someone other than my client. To overcome this effective suck punch, I created a Dissolution Agreement that I send out to clients with regularity.
No one planning to marry an inmate expects to find that the inmate has secrets but, more and more frequently in Texas this continues to be the case. In ALL situations this CLM status wasn’t something any inmate forgot about. Why? Because the inmate filed this paperwork solely to have contact (not conjugal as Texas does not allow these types of visits) visits. No one likes the glass. Not the inmates nor the visitors either. This week alone I’ve mailed 9 Dissolution Agreements out.
A few weeks ago, I had a voice mail regarding TDCJ Henley Unit. I returned the call en route to conduct a memorial in Dallas. This caller was out of state and had a number of questions. Out of state folks should certainly consider taking a Twogether In Texas Course online. Why? Because Texas has a 3 day waiting period. For many of my Texas clients, a three day waiting period won’t interfere with their employment but most people don’t have three days when traveling from another state to “wait around.” The course is $29 but also discounts the cost of the marriage license by $60 as well as waiving the waiting period.
The number of calls, emails and texts I review on a daily basis from numerous prospects regarding marrying an inmate in our multi state service area shocks everyone.
I’ve NEVER advertised AND ALWAYS kept my promises. That’s the secret to Cindy and I creating not one but four unique and successful diverse businesses as a Twin Team.
For clients marrying an inmate, buying the marriage license can be an intimidating and frightening ordeal. I ease the stress by holding their hand through the process. When possible, I even meet my clients on site at the clerks office.A few weeks ago, I not only met but also drove my traditional clients, the Andersons to the clerks office to purchase their marriage license.
Johnnie had made a successful life after lock up. Sharing his journey from TDCJ Michael to Allred to Ramsey, my client literally turned his life around and married Brenda last weekend at his new home in Fort Worth. Johnnie also owns a cleaning company and if you need the job done right the first time, Johnnie’s Onda Spot is your go to DFW service provider. My job has many roles. Parking and finding the right office can be intimidating to my clients so I ease their burden by either meeting them and walking in to the clerks office or picking them up and driving them myself.
Allred Unit in Iowa Park is just a few miles outside Wichita Falls. Beyond Allred Unit are my other Units lined right up from Roach to Jordan to Clements. My son laughs because I don’t recall the names of cities I travel to. Instead, I recall the names of the Units.
An overcast sky and rain meant wet bridal shoots for Latonya and Cassandra which bothered me but I can’t control the weather although I wish I could for my clients.My Coffield Unit bride, Cassandra who was scheduled to marry in Tennessee Colony a few weeks ago and was advised by the Unit that her loved one had “caught a chain” and wasn’t at Coffield 48 hours prior to her wedding which is also emotionally upsetting but, Wednesday afternoon I married Latonya and Cassandra both at Allred Unit. Love always finds a way.
Inmate transfers continue to be a shocking surprise to clients who have been waiting for months to marry but, we will be following your loved one and marry you at the new Unit. Don’t panic. Stay calm. You will get married.
Catching a chain is a setback but a minor setback that can and will be overcome. I pass chain buses everyday and worry that the Unit I’m headed to has put my clients loved one on a chain bus passing me on the highway as I head to a Unit. It’s happened before and may happen again.
Unit photos continue to be less than we could hope for but Unit photos are hit and miss at all Texas Units. Buster Cole won the “worst Prison wedding pic” among my clients a few months ago. Why? Let’s take a look. My brides beautiful dress wasn’t visible in the Unit photo at all. To overcome this issue, I studied the photo to try and decide what exactly made her photo so dark? Was it the camera? By the way, I’ve had good news from my first Buster Cole client that they are finally going to live happily ever after and plan a Vow Renewal very soon. They have a real love story with a back story too. All of my clients have fascinating back stories.
I decided that the window was what caused the dark shadowing of my couple and at my next visit to Buster Cole, moved my clients away from the window.
At my next visit to Buster Cole, I had another unexpected hurdle with the Unit advising my client that her clothes were too tight.
To overcome this problem, I went out to my suv and grabbed an outfit from my dry cleaning. My client wore my clothes to her wedding which is why they appear a little large. This occurs more than anyone realizes. I come prepared.Leaving the Unit, I found an old building for her bridal photos. I’m always looking for unique locations near Units for photos.
Many of you have been following the saga of two brides and one groom. This is a pickle. But, my North Dakota pen pal has moved on. We talk daily and I’ve successfully walked her through the heartache of being duped. The other bride intent on marrying at Ellis Unit sent me a text last night about cold feet. The problem? This wedding is scheduled for 11-12-2019 and right around the corner.
Since I was driving back from TDCJ Scott Unit, I had my son (who had accompanied me on an all day adventure) answering incoming texts. I instructed Robbie to type my concerns and questions via text to Valerie.
For someone so determined to marry just a few weeks ago, things have turned sour and I wanted to know why. I discussed at length that love is trust to Valerie and that the inmate specifically hid his pen pal relationship from her.
If I see flags that you don’t, it’s because I’m old and wise and also because long after the glitter from your wedding has settled, the pain of a divorce will remain. I warn you for solid reasons. I’m every clients mother, advisor, cheerleader and occasionally a shoulder to cry on or the first person they call with good news. I wear many hats.
Apparently, the Ellis inmate and his attitude are the reason my client (the winner of the two woman battle for one man controversy) is having second thoughts.
I’ve said this before but it bears repeating so here it goes… if an inmate is controlling you from behind bars, things will not improve when they are in the free world. Establish clear boundaries now. Know YOUR WORTH. Put your needs first. If you don’t who will?
This Ellis inmate “played” the pen pal in North Dakota by pretending to love her. He also financially benefitted from being dishonest with and to her. My new friend in North Dakota was crushed. She was also bullied online because she truly believed the inmate had planned to marry her.
How did North Dakota find out about San Antonio and the inmate who lied? An online forum for prison support. A posted photo was quickly addressed as someone planning to marry that was the very same photo my North Dakota friend had. Raul was “making the rounds.”
This inmate was also “busted” when someone in a prison group recognized his photo and his name and told my North Dakota client he was marrying someone else from San Antonio. Wow. Like a movie script with too many plot lines, the hits from this scenario just keep coming.
“Pressure can burst a pipe, or pressure can make a diamond”
Prison Groups are tight and loyal. It should be noted that no one wants to get played. No one wants to get hurt. Protect your heart and your pocketbook folks because this pen pal situation gave not only me but also Brandi and Valerie a real eye opener regarding inmate pen pals and unsuspecting women who can be taken easily be taken advantage of by inmates playing not one but many people in the free world.
Trust is essential to love. If you cannot trust someone how can you love them? I spent a week going over this with both Valerie and Brandi. But, Valerie was determined to marry Raul.
Valerie’s texts regarding “buying her own ring and paying for her own wedding” were accurate. All of my clients marrying an inmate foot the bills. Dedication, perseverance, loyalty and more are required to love an inmate. Financially the burden can be a heavy cross to bear but if an inmate is playing you for money and money is a driving force, WALK AWAY.
One Gatesville inmate played a man for so much money that the story was featured in D Magazine. Also, after exhausting his income, this senior was found dead at his apartment in Gatesville after a visit from the inmates daughter to his home. His daughters suspected foul play and they were right.
“If you have to BUY someone’s AFFECTION, it’s not LOVE. You are making a PURCHASE. Know the difference.”
This mornings phone call to one client involved me talking her out of a payday loan to marry an inmate. Payday loan interest amounts can easily range from 500-800% in Texas. Going into debt to marry an inmate is not in YOUR BEST INTEREST. I advised her to push the wedding back until after tax season instead. My advice is frank and always blunt. The inmate isn’t my client either. The “person on the outside doing it all alone” is my client. Protecting them is important to me.
After traveling with me to Allred Unit Wednesday, my son was in my driveway at 4:30AM yesterday to head to Angleton, TX. Generally Cindy is my copilot but one of my twin grandnieces had collapsed at school Tuesday due to an asthma attack that required hospitalization. The twins both have asthma.
Maryssa (below next to Cindy far right) has stopped breathing entirely on 3 occcasions at school and required hospitalization. Due to Maryssa nearly dying at school the first time, Cindy and I fought for students in Texas to have the right to carry emergency inhalers and won.
On a side note, we also fought for parents to choose whether or not to separate multiples in school and Twin Laws were established. Why did we care? We were separated ourselves and knew how traumatic being forcibly separated by school administrators was to multiples.
Driving through the rain, my son noticed my phone never stops ringing. My son works three jobs and has for many years. He works as a driver for his father at Mr G’s Carpets as well as handling directional advertising for my husband at Mc Bee Homes and for me at Texas Twins Events and TDCJ Officiants. Robert also performs inmate weddings at county jails. Cindy does as well and also performs prison weddings when not traveling with me to Prisons or meeting clients or flipping items together. Cindy and I are almost always together.
Five hours after leaving Fort Worth yesterday, Robbie and I arrived at TDCJ Wayne Scott Unit. My beautiful bride was wearing a 50’s styled dress that I loved! It’s always exciting to finally meet my clients in person. Marcella’s family was waiting for her at the hotel so we followed her back and began unloading items for her bridal photo shoot. My son had a little trouble with my longest veil and the wind lol. People are always surprised at just how many miles I log in a week. Cindy’s Husband is a truck driver who often compares his miles per week with me lol. Steve wins week after week. Steve has been a truck driver 50 plus years. My husband has been a builder 50 plus years.
Cindy and I are celebrating our 55th birthday this weekend because we are working on our birthday this year (as usual).
Next Tuesday we are at Huntsville Units. Wednesday, we finally meet a filmmaker I’ve been talking to an emailing the past year regarding a documentary about prison relationships and marriage. Elena will fly into Hobby while I’m inside Ramsey Unit with Shenequil and join us for bridal photos following the wedding.