Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness! I’m sixty years old, I have voted in every election since I was eighteen (although Nixon was a real disappointment, if I’m honest about it), and I have yearned — yearned I tell you — to serve on a jury. But I have never been called. Nope, not once. I’ve really felt it was personal for the last twenty-something years. And then, yesterday, like the arrival of the Omaha Sweepstakes (come on, in this year that is going to be my year), I got my first Summons for Juror Service. I even love the title. I have been “summoned” by my beloved country to “serve” as a possible juror on an actual court case. Oh, happy day!
My desire to serve started in college, with the Patty Hearst trial. I wanted to move to California and offer my services. I knew she was not guilty, and I felt I could be very helpful. Since then there has not been a major case of public interest that has not made me want to be a juror. It’s come up many times, when friends have complained about being called. I’ve offered to dye my hair and take their place. I’ve pointed out that the country doesn’t demand much of our time if you think about it, and since we do have the finest judicial system in the world, it’s the least we can do right? They look at me in that disdainful way you look at someone who tries to tell you something is going to be fine, when you know it’s going to be awful and you know they have never had to deal with it. You know the type. I am not that type, I swear. I am not a Pollyanna.
Think about it. Where else do you have to judge someone else? Not turn the other cheek? We all walk around quoting that ridiculous “Judge not, lest ye be judged” philosophy, which is good advice, but goes against our bitchy inner selves, which often need to vent. On top of that, the idea that I could also run in a popularity contest with strangers to be the foreman (Is it foreperson now? I so want to be politically correct when I speak of my work as a juror) of the fabulous jury I will be on is almost more than I can take. Happy dance, for sure!
I came home after getting the summons, filled out the card, and then immediately went back to the post office to mail it, just in case they changed their minds or there was a fire at my house. I am confident that I can lose weight before April 2nd. (If it had said April 1st I would have known it was one of my nasty BFFs playing a joke on me, but it was the 2nd. Phew.) I will buy a new black suit to ensure that I don’t appear frivolous to those deciding which case will be mine. I will carry my orange briefcase (orange is the new black, you know), and I will bring a note pad with my initials on it. And my Swarovski pencils, which look way cool when you are writing with them. It’s a plan.
I even have a badge number of my very own — 038551864. Hi, it’s me, Christine, 038551864. Oh, happy day.
But then I realized there are issues. I woke up at 1:00 a.m. in a panic. I realized that being called to jury duty is really just an invitation to try out to be on a jury. Gads. I’m in marketing and my fabulous cousin Gary pointed out at last dinner that I can strategize how to get on the jury, and I should be able to do it. He also said he thinks I’d be great on a jury because I always cut to the chase. I think I’ll take it as a compliment.
So I’m a little stressed about it. I do so want to be chosen. I know that jumping up and down in front of the lawyers as they are doing their choosing and shouting, “Pick me. Choose me. Love me!” might not serve me well. I will have to put a lid on it for sure. So, it’s a primary election for me to get on the jury and then a general election to get picked as the foreperson. I’m thinking when we sit as a jury and say we have to pick a foreperson, I will pull out some baked goods or other, and then I’m in. Right? I have much to go to get ready. Guess that’s why they give you four months notice. Put out good thoughts on April 2nd. Will let you know how it all goes.