Friday, May 8, 2015

Playing Hooky

After being a voter, a home owner, a drivers licence holder, and overall American adult since the late 1980s, I received a notice to serve jury duty and had no legitimate reason not to serve.

I received my first notice over a decade ago. I had a newborn baby and begged them to not make me serve. Give me some time to wean her first. Fortunately they listened and gave me over 10 year. 

Jury duty turned out to be a lot of fun. When I showed up at the massive parking lot by the Sun Center, I bumped into Susie, a mom I had not seen since Ashley was in kindergarten. We picked right up where we left off. We bypassed the bus and walked to the court house on Broad Street, only to quickly learn they moved. We met another woman "just getting off from work" wearing 5 inch spiked heels. Hmm... The three of us found the right building, and went through security. Then we couldn't figure out where to go. Neither could any of the regular employees. It was quite comedic. Fortunately it had a happy ending.

Susie and I finally found the right place. Thirty jurors were taken for a different case. The rest of us (hundreds -- they called 650 numbers that day) were told to wait. And wait. And watch a video. And wait. We were told about the case. It was to last two weeks -- two unpaid weeks for a freelancer/sub like me. Susie asked to be excused based on prior knowledge. I asked to be excused based on hardship. The judge was being kind and let us both go.

Susie and I then looked at each other. It was a nice day. It was lunch time. We could see the RiverLine. Hmm... so we hopped on the train and took it to Burlington for lunch. We chose Legends Pizza. I had the Ziggy salad.

It truly felt as if we were playing hooky for the day. I half-expected to come home to a message saying I misunderstood the concept of being excused. Nothing spectacular happened that day. We walked around an old town. Had lunch together and reconnected. I guess that is what made it special. Rather than hightailing it the moment Susie was free, she waited an extra 5-10 minutes to see if I would be freed, too, and we enjoyed each other's company. Had we tried to plan the day, it would not have happened, but serendipity brought us together.

As for the case, I'll probably never learn the outcome. Someone else I know was in the room for jury selection. He was asked to come back the next day while they narrowed down the jury.

Maybe next time I'll be in a position to be able to put my life on hold for two weeks while I help decide someone's fate. I'm not there yet. In this meantime, this reminded me of an earlier goal for the year.

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