(Cue the Law & Order music. )
Yup, I got this in the mail about a month ago. Naturally, being me, my first instinctual response is panic. What? Me? Make big scary decisions on that will affect some strangers future? No!!!!!
Also, where is this place? Sarasota? I cannot drive to Sarasota? Panic panic panic! But of course quiet, internal panic. Never on the outside where other people can see it.
Tim of course, agreed to drive me to and from and we took a little sojourn to find the place and see how long it takes to get there. Alright, that's a little better. I was beginning to breathe normally again. But still the entire idea of me making the sort of monumental decisions that will potentially change the course of another person's life, is just terrifying to me. What if I'm wrong. What if they were actually guilty, and I declared them innocent? Or they were innocent and I decided they were guilty? Horrors! That's a lot of pressure and I've clearly read too many books about this sort of thing and/or seen way too many courtroom TV shows.
When I really stopped to think about it, I was judge, jury and "executioner" for my kids throughout their childhoods and they turned out okay. In fact, I remember a time when I had not just my 3 boys but my sisters 2 girls too. I think their ages were 8,7,6,5 and 4. One day in particular came to mind. They had been up to no good all day long. Getting into spats with each other, playing tricks on each other and definitely not doing any of the things I asked them to do. By mid-afternoon, it had reached critical mass with all 5 of them yelling and crying. I waded into the thick of it and herded them all into the living room. "Sit there" I ordered grimly, the expression on my face brooking no nonsense and finger pointed at the sofa. Silently but for a little sniffing, the tear stained faces and grass stained britches lined themselves up, fanny first on the sofa.
Interestingly, they always lined themselves up in age order, oldest on the left, youngest on the right. "I'm not even going to ask what is going on because I don't care", I said to them in a very stern voice, "And I don't want to hear about whose fault it is or who started it because I'm stopping it. Right here and right now. You are all family. You are stuck with each other. So start being nicer to each other or it's going to be a long, miserable childhood." Then I pointed outside, "Now go out and play and I don't want to hear any more of this nonsense."
That's the kind of juror I would be, I'm afraid. I'm hardwired to being a parent and that is not what a proper juror is supposed to be. Jurors are supposed to be totally impartial listening only to what the lawyers on their behalf tell you, presenting evidence to support what they are saying and witnesses who will tell their version of events and then disregarding whatever the judge tells you to disregard. I would have a very hard time "un-hearing" something I've already heard. But if this is what I'm supposed to do, I would do my damnedest to do a good job of it. My concern is that my best would not be good enough.
I had chosen the clothes I was going to wear (Hey if I am going to play a role, I have to dress for the part, right?), had a snack and a book in my purse, my tablet fully charged and had psyched myself up for a New Experience, that of being a juror. And then after 5 o'clock last night, just as instructed, I called that number on the card. A recorded message informed me that my services would not be needed after all. I called the number again and listened to it twice, just to be certain. After all that, my services were not needed. Dang. I was all prepared too.
I guess I will have to make big decisions about something else today instead. And then I'll eat my snack and read my book.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.