Picture this: I’m at the court house because I have been called for jury duty. The room is packed with over a hundred people. We are waiting for the judge. Besides regular civilians, the room is also filled with cops. This is something new for me! I have never been called for jury duty. The only experience that I can consider remotely close to this was as a spectator, watching Perry Mason on TV. My father used to love him. So we would watch the show, with black and white televisions of course. That's how far my experience with the court goes. I was expecting all of us to go into black, white, and shades of gray, like on TV back then!
As we wait for the judge, I notice a police woman who walks in front of us, actually she paces in front of us…going back and forth several times. I cannot help noticing her belt. She carries around all this stuff! To amuse myself I try to guess what is all around her waist besides the obvious, which is of course is a gun. Her gear starts reminding me of belly dancers and how they adorn their hips. Suddenly I can totally picture her belly dancing with all her police accoutrement. Then, I can’t help but wonder, does she carry her lipstick there too? I shouldn't be thinking such absurd thoughts.
A police man goes by and I try to envision him doing the same! Nope!
At court you don’t have a choice of where to sit down. There is a seat that has been assigned to you. I was not surprised but dismayed when I was placed right in the first row. The lawyers start getting into their positions, the defendant too. My mind is still busy with the belly dancing, when the defendant looks at my shoes and makes some facial gesture pointing at my shoes. She manages to tell me she loves my shoes. I think to myself, who wouldn’t?! I'm wearing Donald Pliner tennis shoes with embroidered flowers. I continue to sit there with a straight face, in wonder, that regardless of the circumstances, we still check out one another's shoes!
Now looking back I realize, wow, we had a fashion moment every day I went in for jury duty. Every time we took the elevator the other jurors would check out my shoes, despite the serious, gloomy situation. This little interaction would make me smile!
Being part of jury was a fascinating process. I was part of a group of twelve random people, all of us with different social backgrounds, a very eclectic group. It’s amazing that we have so much responsibility in our hands. The judicial system in this country is very interesting. Honestly, I don’t have much experience with this process from my country though. Still from what I overhear from what other people say, it's a system that works.
Two weeks of this experience was exhausting, emotionally and intellectually. The last day I was so thankful that it was finally over. I walked to the front of the court house where there was a policewoman walking in front of me, but I was no longer in the mood to imagine her belly dancing, instead I look at my shoes and tell them, take me home!
Have any of you ever had to be a juror? What was that like for you?! Please share your experience with me and let me know if I may share your messages as well.
P.S. I’m off to Las Vegas to buy for Spring 2015! As I have been doing for the past 30 years, I will be celebrating my birthday there!