Civic duty? Check.

So, where did I leave off?  Selected for jury duty on Monday.  Tuesday I got to spend several hours with Ian (even with an appointment!) at the DMV getting his driver’s license.  I guess if I’m going to do government offices, I might as well do them in bulk.  The DMV has to be the most soul-sucking place in our county.  I’m so looking forward to going back with Tim in June.

We started off well.  Ian took the road test with a nice man with a thick accent.  When they finished the test, Ian parked, turned the car off and said the DMV man said something to him but he didn’t quite understand him.  He thought the man told him to go ahead and get out of the car.  Ooops.  The Suburban is old.  The passenger side door sticks and you have to kind of shove it open with your shoulder (or pay the $250 to fix it).  Ian got out of the car, locked the doors and started heading back into the DMV before he realized he had locked the instructor in the car.  Lucky for Ian, the guy had a great sense of humor.  (I keep telling myself that someday I will have a life where everything in my house, car and yard works … until then, it is what it is.)

As Ian and I walked back to the car, Ian, admiring his new license, noted that MY signature was on his license not his own.  I was ALL done.  I told him he could drive me home and go back and get in line on his own.  Seeing his expression, I could just as well have given him a puppy.  He went back and got it all worked out.  Then, he gleefully drove Tim to track practice, stopped at the grocery store and went back and picked Tim up.  I know the thrill of running my errands will wear off, but I’m milking it for all it’s worth right now.  

This morning, I had to be at the courthouse at 8:45.  I stayed up late making sure everyone had lunches and clean laundry and that Andy would be able to figure out his school work for the day.  I was up in plenty of time.  Mike and Andy left early for the warehouse.  The older boys left around 7:45 for their classes.  I got a shower, cleaned up a bit and threw dinner in the crock pot.  I knew if I left the house by 8:25, I’d be there in plenty of time.  

But, things never work that way here.  I made sure Scout and the guinea pigs had food and water, shut everything down and headed out to Mike’s truck (we brought the warehouse truck home to make the whole jury duty thing easier – three cars makes a huge difference!).  I pulled out my keys and see that my key to the truck is GONE!  I was in heels.  Granted, for many women this is not a big deal, but as I’ve spent the bulk of the past 20 years barefoot (sometimes pregnant and, quite often in the kitchen), and for me it is.  I marched through mulch and mud to the back of the house, praying that I had forgotten to lock the sliding glass door.  I usually do.  I got lucky.  The back of the house was open.  I was only slightly muddy from the knees down.

I searched for the missing key.  As I was laboriously texting Dan to find out where the key was, I saw it.  It was now 8:40.  I raced to the truck and proceeded to hit every single traffic light between our house and the courthouse.  

As I ran into the building, I realized I had neglected to put a belt on my little worn (but totally cute) beige pants.  So, I arrived, muddy, shoes in one hand and and rolling my waistband with the other hand.  I asked the deputy scanning my nasty purse what happened to late jurors.  He just laughed and asked me did I really think I was the only person ever to be late?  As he was laughing and I was making sure my sweater was not tucked into my granny panties hiked way above the rolled waistline of my pants, I felt a tap on my shoulder. 

It was the deputy who had hauled my group through the elevators and hallways the day before.  I about jumped out of my skin.  He smiled and said, “I believe you’re Mrs. Baker?”  He was just leading my group to the elevators.  Whew!  I could easily be typing this from prison if he hadn’t seen me.  

(I should mention here that this is a relatively new courthouse, built since 2002.  I only learned a month or so ago that Andy has grown up believing – on his brothers’ word – that convicted people are hurled from the tower to their deaths!  All of these years I’ve wondered why Andy flips out when we have to go in that direction.  Gah.  More $$$ for the therapy jar.)

We sat through about 90 minutes of instructions and testimony.  It did not take us very long to find the accused guilty of prowling/loitering.  I’m still thinking about it; the thought that a law enforcement person can arrest you for this and it’s just your word against his, is a little creepy to me.  But, then again, most people don’t do anything resembling loitering or prowling (unless you’re me breaking into my own house).  When we returned the verdict, the prosecutor brought out a 2″ thick file of this man’s past offenses.  He’s spent more time in prison as an adult that out.  

I left feeling like I’d done what I’d been asked to do, but I was also incredibly sad.  This man clearly had drug problems that led to his many arrests and convictions.  He was 51 years old and had nothing to show for his life.  He didn’t sound educated when he was talking with the judge, but he didn’t sound stupid either.  It’s just such a waste.  So, of course, I came home and gave the boys a big lecture on not wasting your life.  :::sigh::: 

As far as the picture at the beginning of this post . . . the prosecutor was a beautiful woman in her early 30’s (maybe) who is about 18 months pregnant.  I was getting heartburn just watching her stand up and sit down.  I wanted to make her put her feet up on the table.  But, from the side, this woman looked sooooo much like a very young Demi Moore.  Not often you see someone that gorgeous in real life.

I think I am worn out after this week.  I opted to make grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for dinner because I just wasn’t inspired to do anything more involved.  I started making the sandwiches (no small feat here – between Mike, the boys and one of their friends, I was making 12 sandwiches just to get things started.)  The cheese (which we buy from the Restaurant Depot in large large quantities and store in smaller ziploc bags) was NOT melting.  I stuck it in the microwave, I was pressing a skillet over the sandwiches. Still, no gooey goodness. 

Finally, I just gave Andy a sandwich and got to work on the others.  Still, it was weird.  Ian’s sandwich was up next.  He took one bite and came back to me and said, “Why are you making hash brown sandwiches?”  Gah!  I had frozen hash browns with some cheddar cheese in the freezer along with the regular cheese.  Well, that explained a lot.  Potatoes NEVER melt.  Oddly, 2 of the 5 boys eating were happy with grilled hash browns on bread.  Blech.  Once I started cooking with actual cheese, things improved.

Tomorrow, aside from getting house/car/truck keys made for everyone, I’m looking forward to a regular day of torturing Andy with math and Latin and nagging the older boys and NOT wearing shoes.  

How’s your week going?

4 thoughts on “Civic duty? Check.

  1. That is so funny.. I was just thinking what I should make for dinner, isn't John going to be surprised!

    I have never been called for jury duty! Still haven't figured if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

    By the way. I had three big brothers and I'm (twitch) okay…

  2. Okay, the hash brown sandwiches are CLASSIC. I so often play the “what the hell is this?” game in the freezer. when I seal it, I'm SO sure I'll remember what it is, I mean how could I not? And then I forget.

  3. Don't feel bad – you may be on to something. Wasn't the first ever batch of Toll House (chocolate chip) cookies a mistake, too?

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