The pile of mail was deep yesterday -- deep enough that I didn't see the envelope at first glance. But the second pass through it caught my eye.
Naturally I assumed it was addressed to me, possibly my husband. Damn, I thought. I have so many projects booked up for the next several weeks -- in addition to filing the tax return, waxing my eyebrows, removing dryer lint and scrubbing the bathroom tile with a toothbrush. Jury duty would be such an inconvenience. They probably serve bad coffee, too.
And then I looked closer ... it was addressed to my son.
It took me a few minutes to comprehend that the tall kid who leaves a trail of dirty socks when he's home from college is eligible for jury duty. Shocked that the kid who can't always remember his grandmother's birthday could be deciding the fate of a total stranger.
We are entitled to a jury of our peers. Holy crap.
I would be scared to death to see an almost-19-year-old in the jury box at my trial. The only thing we would have in common is the mere fact that I was also once 19.
In the last century.
While the law might consider my son an adult, anyone who has lived with an 18-year-old boy can testify that the term "adult" in this instance is used quite loosely. Sit one down in that jury box, and who knows what crazy legal-sounding things he might say? Most boys that age probably think a subpoena is something you do in the bathroom, and The Plaintiff is a grunge band from Portland.
Where are my peers?
My peers would understand why I get teary-eyed at the mere mention of The Star Spangled Banner. That no matter where I am, I need to know where the nearest restroom is located. They would understand how I often walk into another room, only to forget why I came there in the first place. That leaving my shirt untucked is no longer a fashion statement, but a necessity. They understand that while I have no tattoos or odd piercings, I do have poor night vision and a pretty cool popping sound in my hip. My peers would understand that while I think I'm pretty hip, I just recently figured out that BRB means, "be right back" and isn't short for Barbara.
They "get" me.
Where would we find these people, this jury of my peers? Certainly not in the college dorms. I suggest maybe the Jazzercise class at the local community center, or possibly at the knitting shop. Local public restrooms are a sure place to find them -- it's a favorite haunt. They can be seen browsing the clearance racks at Chico's or laughing while reading greeting cards at the grocery store. They can be found having fun at the book store, the coffee shop, the golf course, the gym or on the walking trail.
So if something happens -- you know, some little misunderstanding between a traffic officer and a certain gutsy middle-aged woman -- please go find my people. The long-haired college kid in the jury box won't understand.