Today I did something I have never done before. I reported a court house for jury duty.
It all started three weeks ago when I ran to the mailbox, my favorite part of the day is to retrieve the mail. I LOVE getting the mail, you never know what special treats are in there waiting for you! My least favorite special treats are bills my most favorite special treats are letters or cards. Except I don't think I've gotten a letter in the mail since 1991.
Anyways, that particular day when I went to get my special treats I was stunned to see I had gotten a letter from the court. I immediately started going through my brain trying to think of what I had done to break the law. Which is hilarious considering the closest I've come to breaking the law is speeding - which I guess technically IS breaking the law, but not anything to get called to court over.
I opened the envelope to find that I was not being sent to court, but instead I was summoned to jury duty. I have always had a deep fear of being summoned to jury duty and it had finally happened. I do not do well in public situations and become very awkward, plus the courthouse is downtown and I HATE driving downtown. Like my #2 biggest fear behind being summoned to jury duty. Public awkwardness combined with driving downtown makes for a dreaded day.
So today was the fateful day in which I had to conquer a fear of driving downtown and a fear of participating in a public situation. I had butterflies all Sunday night just thinking about it all. Luke even offered to drive me downtown the night before and show me exactly where to go and where to park. Which was sweet and as much as I wanted to scream YES PLEASE, I decided to put my big girl pants on and figure it out myself.
I made my way through morning traffic, found the parking garage, and parked, all the while praying that I would make it on time. Nothing seemed more embarrassing than walking into a jury summons room late.
As I was making my way to the courthouse I noticed a man who looked a little like Emmitt Smith walking next to me. I am a big fan of Emmitt Smith so I decided to stick close to this man, it was soon after, that I noticed not only was he also holding his jury summons ticket he was holding a book that was a bible study.
I decided this man was my new best friend. He could have had 50 Shades of Grey in that "bible study" book for all I knew, but from the outside I decided we would be connected at the hip that day.
I'm sure the man wondered why I followed closely behind him, going everywhere he went, and getting in line behind him to go through the metal detector and then following him into the elevator. All the while never uttering a word to him.
We made our way to the jury room and somewhere, somehow I lost my Emmitt. I was in a room of 398 other people and yet I was all alone.
I checked in, and then started to wander aimlessly through the room looking for a seat I felt like every eye was poring into me with echos of "ya can't sit here" filling my mind. It was probably a lot less dramatic than that but that is what it felt like in the moment.
I finally found a seat in the last ROW sat between two people who looked seemingly normal. The seats were church pew styled so when you say next to someone you were REALLy sitting next to them. Elbows touching and all. I soon realized I had sat next to the chattiest person in the room.
Looking back I realize I always find myself next to the chattiest person in the room. Which means the person sitting next to me could be wondering how they landed next to the chattiest person in the room while I'm going on about the super cute boots I found and how they were a great deal. And had they ever found a great deal like that and also where are they from, how long have they lived here, what is their favorite restaurant and what is their life mission? All in a days conversation.
I sat in the room for over an hour listening to many people explain to us how this was our civic duty and we would be rewarded $20 for all of our effort. Just as I was contemplating how I was going to spend that $20 without Luke finding out I heard heard ten beautiful words "if you don't live in this county you cannot serve".
And just like that my day as a juror was complete. I said goodbye to my two new friends who groaned with jealously as I practically skipped out that door.
I'm all about doing my civic duty, but not today. Especially in the wrong county.