So one of the great things about NaBloWhateverTheHellIt’sCalled was that I found a few new blogs to read. One of them is Sass Attack. Her name is Laurel and she’s from Minnesota originally but now lives in New York. And she is funny and sweet and smart (but what do you expect from a Minnesotan? I mean, really, isn’t it obvious?) so I’ve been enjoying this. Anyway, for NaBloThingNoOneCanPronounce, she came up with the Encyclopedia of Sass and I’ve enjoyed reading it. I especially loved her latest post – Y is for Young Love (although I almost typed Lounge. Not sure why).

And as we all know, if I enjoy something, I will gleefully steal the idea (but hey, not plagiarism if you credit your sources!) and post it myself. Since I’d like to write more, this is the perfect thing for me to work on doing just that.

Anyway, for our first entry in the Encyclopedia of Dana Marie, I bring you

A is for Adventure

I was talking to Beth last weekend about a song that we’re both not very fond of. And, oddly enough, I can’t remember what the song is. As we all know, Beth will comment sometime in the future and tell me what the song is. But for now, all you need to know is that it is kind of a remake of another song and it’s about some guy who got killed, quite possibly because he was an idiot. And it may or may not have had something to do with drugs or gang warfare.

B: I hate this song.
DM: So do I. I think I first heard this song when I went to prison.
B: … What?
DM: Didn’t I ever tell you about that?
B: Uh, no. I think I would remember this.

So anyway, back, a really, really, really long time ago, I worked at a different bank, the bank I refer to as the Dark Side Bank. I worked with bonds (as opposed to stock now – funny how I ended up in the same industry, just on the different side). There was this woman that I worked with and we became friends.

As a friend, I was open for doing lots of fun stuff, including but not limited to, going to meet her father, step-mother and her half sisters, watching her daughter while she got a hair cut (this didn’t work out well since the child decided to stick Tacy’s (fake name) keys into an outlet when I glanced away for a moment (okay, yes, I was trying to read. Toddlers don’t appreciate this!)) and last but not least, going to prison with her.

And no, I do not have a secret life of crime.

Tacy knew this guy that was in prison. I don’t remember why. He did something stupid, which is, let’s face it, what most people end up in prison for. Because breaking the law is wrong! Anyway, they had been communicating with each other and he wanted her to come visit him. Since this was a pretty long drive (about an hour and a half to two hours, it was near Hinckley (which is on the way to Duluth and no, I don’t know how many miles that is)), Tacy asked if I would like to go with her. I am always in the mood for a road trip so sure.

We drove up there, laughing and singing along with the radio, talking, etc. It was a lot of fun. She would go inside for visiting hours and I would wait in the car, listening to the radio and reading. This may not sound like a lot of fun to you but I enjoyed it. My rule of thumb ever since I was very young was “Always have a book. If you have a book, you will never be bored.” I can wait for hours for people if I am reading.

This came in handy one day when there was a lockdown at the prison. Apparently lockdowns were never scheduled and could take place at any time. I think this was a drill or something, not because someone had escaped. Everyone had to stay where they were so Tacy’s hour of visiting turned into three hours. This wasn’t exactly a problem except for the fact that I was wearing a sleeveless shirt, the window was down and my right arm became very, very burnt. I don’t tan unless I burn and I had the weirdest farmer’s tan for the entire summer. Plus it was incredibly gross with the peeling and all.

I eventually started overheating and wandered into the lobby where I struck up a conversation with the hottest prison guard ever (think Ving Rhames, big, black, bald and beautiful. Yummy) and he told me I could certainly wait in the lobby in the future. Which, hello, unlimited reading and air conditioning? I am all over that. Plus, he was a huge flirt so it was fun.

Then Tacy told Prison Boy about what had happened and he suggested that I start visiting with his friend or cell mate or random guy that was lonely. No biggie. I’ve corresponded with men in prison before. I thought of them as pen pals. They, unfortunately, usually started telling me about how we were going to have a wonderful life together when they finally got out of prison. Um, no. First of all, I am okay with the fact that people make mistakes and they pay the consequences for the mistakes but no, I am not going to date you. I do not know you. You are in prison. The only thing I know about you is what you have told me about yourself. Something tells me that you might be inclined to lie. Second of all, I don’t date men who refer to me as woman and start telling me what to do.

Anyway, it was decided that sure, I would visit Prison Boy’s friend. I filled out the application and presented it to Hot Security Guard. He, in turn, let me watch the video that probably wasn’t titled “Why you should not be really, really, really stupid and smuggle drugs into a prison” but should have been. And this video was about (guess!) really, really, really stupid people who decided to smuggle drugs into prison. And it was divided up between the really, really stupid women and then the men who talked them into it.

One of the women put the drugs in her child’s diaper. In the diaper! And then she was arrested in the prison and hey, surprise! She lost her kids! How did you think this would not happen?

Another woman talked about how the guy told her how much he loved her and how great this would be because he would get money and then they could be together, blah de blah blah. The very next scene is this guy who says “Yeah, I just tell them that I love them and they’re stupid.”
As I am watching this movie, I keep looking over at Hot Security Guard and saying “How? How can these people be so stupid? Don’t they realize that this is against the law?” And he would laugh at me because, yes, I am somewhat naive and believe that people obey the law because it is a law and they should know better and what the hell were they thinking?*

*This, of course, was long after my rebellious, shop-lifting, drug using time. I have been bad.

Anyway, the time came when I had passed all the hoops with flying colors and was able to meet Prison Boy’s Friend (or PBF, I guess we’ll call him).

DM: Hi. I’m Dana.
PBF: I’m Prison Boy’s Friend.

He smiles at me.

He is missing teeth. There is no chance of romance between us ever. He has a horrible gap/snaggly tooth and a mullet (while looks are not important to me, you should know that a mullet is not attractive. If you can’t figure that out, well, dude, c’mon). Not gonna happen. Plus, he has terrible grammar and cannot spell. No sense of humor. Oh, and did I mention he was in prison? I may not have very high standards but I do have some.

Shortly after I met PBF, Prison Boy was released. He had told Tacy all the time she was coming up there how much he cared about her and loved her and wouldn’t it be great when they were together? Oddly enough, he seemed to forget this when the time came for him to pay her back for some of the money she had lent to him. Or, you know, when he had the choice to sleep with another woman (or three).

I don’t know what happened to PBF. I tried exchanging letters with him. I even gave him my phone call so he could call me on occasion. Then he started talking about our future relationship and how he would move in with me and life would be awesome. I stopped answering the phone and responding to his letters. I realize this was somewhat passive-aggressive but, hello, what part of “We will never be anything more than friends” did he not get?

Tacy and I drifted apart. I think some of it came from the fact that I just didn’t get what she saw in Prison Boy or why she stuck by him for so long. Do I miss her? Not often. But when I think of her, I think of two women listening to the radio on a Spring day, singing at the top of their lungs, stopping at garage sales and craft shows and having a great time on an adventure. Not the most exciting adventure, perhaps, but how many times have you had the chance to go to prison?