I have to report for jury duty today. I know people usually moan and don't want to go, but I kind of do. I am only dreading walking on the tile floor, which will no doubt inflame the enlarged nerve in my foot that has been plaguing me for the past year and a half. This is my third time being called for jury duty, but not at the same court. I have always been dismissed right away.
When I was twenty or maybe twenty-one, I got called to jury duty. If I remember correctly, it was a civil trial. I was in college and worked part time at a bank and had complete disdain for my boss. I really wanted to serve the entire two weeks and take a break from work. I don't remember worrying about missing class, so it must have been during the summer. Within two minutes of asking me questions, they said, "You are dismissed." They must not have liked the look of me or maybe thought because I was so young that I would argue a lot and keep everyone there past dinner time. Or maybe I didn't look like I had lived long enough to empathize or understand what the law suit was about. Maybe so. I really didn't want to go to work. I was very disappointed.
The second time I was called for jury duty, I was 32 years old and full pregnant with my second child. He was a giant, and I am not. I was at the part of my pregnancy where I had to pee every fifteen minutes. I told that to the judge. He said that was no excuse. After about five minutes of talking to other people, it occurred to him what I was trying to get at without saying it directly: the trial will stop every fifteen minutes so the pregnant lady can waddle to the bathroom or alternately pee her pants. He came back to me and said something like, "You, pregnant lady - are you saying we will have to give you bathroom breaks every fifteen?" I said yes and he begged me to leave now. The funny thing is that they would have dismissed me anyway. It was a murder trial, my husband was a cop in the same county, and I already knew the guy did it. I was happy to be dismissed - I had to pee.
I suspect today that I will get the boot straight up once again. I look judgmental. I am getting old and, like my sister, I am sort of too tired in my face to smile much. I look angry when my face is tired. I'm tired today. I suspect it will be a DUI trial based on the questionnaire. If I don't get rejected from the look on my face, I expect I will get thrown out from one of my answers. Do you drink alcohol: NO.
I used to drink quite a lot. I have no use for it now except that cold beer bottles are the perfect physical therapy for my foot - I am supposed to roll a can or bottle under my foot for a few minutes a day. A cold Bud Light is perfect for the job. We call it my physical therapy beer. When I'm done with it, I put it back in the fridge to get cold for tomorrow.
My daughter told me that her high school health teacher asked them to raise their hand if their parents had alcohol in the house. She was the only one that didn't. She didn't feel awkward about it, just proud and happy that we have no use for it. I am proud and happy that she doesn't either. When she shared this with me, I told her, "Well, we do have the physical therapy beer. But that doesn't count." She agreed.
What I remember about jury duty, besides getting ejected minutes after the first question was asked of me, is the wait. Today I can wait. I can sit and wait. I have a long story in my mind that I could potentially write in four to eight hours. If they make me wait long enough, I could write the whole thing.