It occurred to me that since we never know what life will bring, some of you could end up visiting a loved one in prison.
And you will freak the hell out.
Just listen to me and it won't be all that traumatic. I mean, you're visiting a prison, for God's sake, so you WILL be traumatized to some degree, but my words will make it a bit easier for you.
Ladies, the most important things to remember are to wear your prison bra, to wear good underwear, and to have an entire change of clothes in your car. I will return to this advice momentarily.
About two months prior to your prison visit, start working on your cardio. This is absolutely necessary because your loved one will want his 35-pound food box.
Oh, that's no big deal, you say? Well, HAHAHA, the joke's on you, because you have to park your car in the "visitors' parking," which is ALWAYS on the other side of hell. That means that you have to carry a 35-pound box with its corners jamming you in the ribs all the way from the far end of the parking lot and into the prison. You will put it down on the ground several times so you don't die from the broken rib that has punctured your lung.
Let Melissa help you here. JUST KICK THE BOX ALL THE WAY FROM YOUR CAR TO THE PRISON'S ENTRANCE. When your loved one sees the banged up box, just lie and say the guards must have done it.
When you actually get inside the prison and fill out the appropriate paperwork, you will sit alongside the filthiest, scariest looking people on earth. You will contract tuberculosis or E-bola just from breathing the air they breathe. Still, TOUCH NOTHING.
Every few minutes the guard will say over the loudspeaker, "Shuqilmeraqueu." Somehow, everyone will recognize that as the last name of the person he or she is visiting.
When you recognize that as your name, the real fun begins. The guards will tell you that something you are wearing is not permissible in the visiting room, despite the fact that it is on the facility's list of approved items. Don't panic! Remember, you have an entire change of clothing in the car!
When you return from your car, you will walk up to the metal detector and put all your jewelry, your belt, ID, money and SHOES into a box to be searched.
At this point, you will be barefoot, and you will have to walk on the filthy, disgusting floor through the metal detector.
If you are not wearing a prison bra, you will set off the metal detector. You then will be ordered to go into the restroom, remove your bra, come out with the girls just flopping all over, and walk through the metal detector again.
The whole bra thing can be avoided if you wear a sports bra with no hooks and non-adjustable straps. You can get a pack of three for $5 at Walmart. It is the best investment you will ever make. Trust me. Sometimes, I am so brilliant, I just amaze myself!
In the event that you STILL set off the metal detector, you will be strip-searched. Twice, I have been strip-searched, and both times I thanked the good Lord above that I wasn't wearing my period underwear.
When you finally make it through all that, a guard will put on your hand a stamp that is only visible under ultra-violet light. THEY TAKE THAT STAMP VERY SERIOUSLY!!! You have to show the stamp as you leave the prison, and if it is gone, all hell breaks loose. I know this because, of course, I once washed mine off. The whole place went into immediate lockdown, no one was allowed in or out, and I was detained in a tiny room in a MEN'S FEDERAL PRISON until every single prisoner was eyeballed by the guards. (I had some self-esteem issues after that.)
Do yourself a favor and bookmark this post. Please, trust me here. Forty-four years of experience can't be wrong.