I am a creature of habit. I get up at the same time everyday, (even when I don’t have work – I still have to pee) eat the same foods (even on weekends, as most of you know, is when all bets are off- even my cheat foods are the same), I use the same machine at the gym to warm up, (hate cardio so try and limit it to reading morning emails), and go about my work day pretty much on schedule until bedtime which, although does vary, typically entails my kids tucking ME in rather than the other way around. I hate to travel far, let alone leave Palm Beach and even though I do go to Miami at least twice a week it’s mostly work related (which I enjoy so much that I sometimes have to remind myself how lucky I am that my social life and work life are often one in the same….as long as I don’t have to dance)
Whenever I do have to travel more than 30 miles away, my husband reminds me that it’s a good thing and healthy for me to stop acting like I’m in the witness protection program.
Yes, I am a homebody.
So just when I thought I was safe and secure hidden behind my country club gates something happened that stirred up my routine.
I was summonsed for jury duty.
After about 20 minutes of trying to find a spot that was not in an undercover parking garage (I’ve seen enough movies to know what could happen to women walking alone in an undercover garage that I’d rather walk the mile and a half in heels as long as parking is outside and street level.) I finally arrived at the courthouse.
At first I thought I was walking into the wrong entrance – maybe I had accidentally entered the convicted felons area? – Seemed like the people walking in should be hanging out at the local gun range or tattoo parlor. (Parlor? is that word even used anymore? and before any of my friends with tats get all worked up – you know I don’t mean offense to yours- I’m talking about the ones on peoples FACES).
After waiting in a single line to pass through security, which was similar to the airport but luckily, since I did not have time for a pedicure, we got to keep our shoes on, we were sent to a room where they spent the first hour giving speeches and showing videos of what the process entails and how this country is built on being fair. That part made me chuckle just a little- especially when they showed the videos that attempted to pull on our heartstrings by showing people of all races hugging their kids and saluting the flag.
Reminded me of the super bowl commercial from Nationwide – really??
What I found to be indicative of the dumbing down of America was that only a handful of us left to use our laptops and catch up on work in the juror’s lounge and the overwhelming majority of people chose to stay and watch movies all day long.
At first the only seat available was next to an obese man drinking soda and belching after each sip. I chose to get up and move to another room after he took out a nail clipper from his pocket and began clipping his fingernails and placing each one into his empty soda can.
I sat there- even more motivated to think of reasons that I could possibly use to excuse myself from sitting on a jury….(of my piers- really??)
All good- but used so many times before that I doubted they would work.
Then the woman next to me got up to use the restroom and asked me to watch her computer while she was gone. I accepted her request and when she returned she thanked me and went right back to work. About 10 minutes later it was my turn to use the restroom and when I packed up and took my laptop with me she looked at me as though she could not believe the audacity I had that I did not trust her with my belongings as she so willingly had done with hers.
I just gave her a look that said, “Lady, its not that I don’t trust YOU….it’s that I don’t trust ANYONE.”
And just like that I found my excuse.
When in doubt just be yourself.