Sunday, May 11, 2014

Jury Mom

Some people are afraid of spiders, clowns or horror movies.
I used to fear jury duty.
This was back when our three girls were single digits and my day was a nonstop marathon of waking, dressing, feeding, napping, making dinner, supervising three baths and pretty much dropping dead at about 8 p.m. each night.
How would I manage all that and a jury? Sure, you get some piddly amount for a stipend but that definitely wouldn’t pay for a baby sitter for three kids. My husband could take over mommy duty but who would do his job?
Whenever I got the dreaded red jury notice, I immediately checked the box for the 90-day extension and then usually a second 90-day extension, praying that the jury choosers would eventually forget about me and my three kids. The few times I had to call in for jury selection the night before, I’d cross my fingers. Please don’t pick me. Please, please, please.
Even before kids, I hated getting called because my employer didn’t pay for jury duty. That didn’t stop me from getting summoned for a jury in San Francisco when I lived in the city. It was an attempted murder trial, but all I heard was “murder.”
It was a novelty for about two hours but then I realized that being on a jury would seriously cut into my single-girl lifestyle. The attorneys eyeing potential jurors probably saw a spacey 20-something who could barely concentrate on what she was doing in the next two hours let alone the next two days. I was excused.
Smart move, Judge. I was in no condition to be serving up justice on attempted murderers or anyone else.
I once got called for jury duty in Napa while I was still nursing one baby. I panicked. How was I going to feed my baby every three hours if I got seated on a jury? Whip out a breast pump during cross examination? Smuggle her in under an XL maternity blouse? Or just wear her in a Baby Bjorn and let the defense get an earful of hungry baby? Luckily for me and the entire criminal justice system, I was dismissed early on.
The other day, a co-worker got called for jury duty. But instead of my usual thankgoodnessitsnotme, I realized that I actually wouldn’t mind being on a jury.
Our girls are pretty much self-sustainable these days. My job pays me for jury duty. It’d be like a vacation but without using any vacation days. I’m a naturally curious person – I think it would be cool to be part of a trial. In the jury box, I mean.
And what if I was on a jury trial where I had to be sequestered?
No TV, no Internet, no cellphone. After jury duty, I’d have to sit around all by myself and read books. All meals would be provided. I’d get maid service and stay in a hotel room.
Napa attorneys: Give me a call. I’m all yours.

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