Yesterday was the end of my first full week of jury duty. Seven days to be exact. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but for me, a girl with ADD tendencies, sitting for five or seven hours and actually paying attention to what people were saying, expressing and NOT saying, was a real accomplishment. Then there was my wardrobe!
I have not worked at a real job for almost fourteen years. (Thanks to my husband and the Grace of a benevolent God.) Therefore, I have not had to own what I call “big-girl” clothes.
When I first stopped working I continued to buy and dress in big girl clothes, but the necessity of zipping things up and wearing jackets and stockings soon became a thing of the past. I started shopping in the junior’s department and wearing things my grand daughters would wear. This was mostly because things are cheaper in the junior’s department and not in any way because I am, or think I am, a junior. I try regularly to weed the ridiculous out of my closet with comments I speak out loud to myself such as, “Kathy, are you kidding? What are you thinking? You cannot wear that! Not to court in front of a judge!”
So anyway, I managed to pull together a dress and heels for every day of jury duty so far. I said a little mantra about walking upright and being secure whenever I took a step in my stilettos so as not to fall down in front of the courthouse. The judge had instructed the jury to be careful so he would not have to use up his one remaining alternate. I have complied.
I have not made any money as a juror, which is probably why they call it jury service instead of jury work. Sure, they do pay us $15.00 per day plus mileage, but I have not been parking in the juror’s free parking lot. (I really do not want to schlep the four blocks in heels while saying my little walking mantra, even though I did it the first day.) I have also been buying my lunch, because I needed a place to rest and get a good latte to take back to court with me. These little details are important and they cost more than $15.00 a day. (Sorry honey!)
I have also been saying a little mantra about my “being imbued with energy, intelligence, open-mindedness and compassion” which is a fancy way of saying “dear God, please help me stay awake, not say anything stupid and not ruin anyone’s life!" So far, so good on that one too.
I believe I have been an excellent juror up to this point, in fact, I’m sure of it! The judge has said so to all of us, every day to this point. I have arrived early each day, been back in my seat well before the judge’s appointed hour after all of our breaks and taken copious notes, as have the rest of the jurors. The trial, (thank goodness,) has been extremely interesting and at times even entertaining. I have somehow miraculously avoided coming to any verdict on my own, which is good, according to the judge, although I have gone back and forth between both sides as I have heard the evidence.
Yesterday was the end of witness testimony. On Monday the judge will instruct the jury and we will hear closing arguments. Sometime on Monday, we the jury, will begin deliberating. By 7:34 on Friday night, I realized I do not care about what I wear or much else. I was tired. Very tired! I have not had a nap in a week and a half and I can feel it. I do however care about the parties involved in this trial. I’m thinking they must be even more tired that I am since they have been getting to this point for several years and have a lot of preparation to do each night well after the hour when I have plopped on my sofa and put my feet up to watch mindless television.
I cannot tell my readers, my husband, my family or my friends any of the details of this trial, at least, not yet. I CAN say that it is serious and very important and I am grateful for the trust the judge, the lawyers and litigating parties have placed in me.
I am extremely grateful that being a judge is NOT my regular job. I hope I can remember that when I’m walking around in my regular life.
My life is so glamorous! It’s just not fair, lucky for me!!