Monday, August 27, 2007

A summons

Last week I received a summons for Jury Duty in the mail. The Man opened it and has been hounding me ever since to find out if there is a way out of it. I have been darting snarky looks at him in response and mumbling noncommittally. Oh I know what his point is. I am a stay at home mom of four kids. My husband is self-employed and it would be a financial hardship for him to take off work to be with them for a week and there really isn't anyone else that can watch them. In short, I am invaluable. Do you think the State of Georgia will buy it? I have no idea. And no, I haven't even begun to check into it yet. Because here's the thing:

I don't want to be excused.

Because I believe in Jury Duty. The American Government only works if we do our part. You know: vote, pay taxes, serve on a jury when we are called to.

Okay, that's not true.

Well it's sort of true. I do believe in all that stuff. But the real reason I don't want to be excused from jury duty is because of this one sentence in my summons:

"DO NOT BRING CHILDREN TO THE ASSEMBLY ROOM or WHEN REPORTING FOR JURY SERVICE"

I have to leave my kids at home. All of them. It's a bona fide rule.

So for a day, or if I am lucky, an entire week I'll get to wake up in the morning, have a reason to dress myself in something respectable for a change, pack a stack of books and go sit, without kids. Maybe I'll get chosen for a jury and maybe I will just get to sit there and read to my hearts content. And maybe there will be other adults. And I'll get to have a conversation. Or write a letter.

And they give me money for lunch. Lunch that will absolutely NOT be peanut butter and jelly.

So call me crazy but jury duty sounds kind of like a vacation. Except not like a vacation at all because I won't come home exhausted from lack of sleep and settling fights. And counting heads: one, two, three, four. One, two, three, four...327 times on the beach for three days. And there won't be a car full of dirty laundry and sand in my unmentionables.

It sounds like a rest. A break. Peace. A reason to have a party. A "hallelujah I am headed off to jury duty party!"

Because after all, it is my civic duty. My government NEEDS me. And we wouldn't want to let them down, now would we?

13 comments:

slouching mom said...

Heh. I think I would feel exactly the same way as you are now.

Leslie said...

Yep, me too.

painted maypole said...

ha ha - that's funny. I've only served on Jury duty once, and it was fascinating.

Michael & Catherine said...

You make jury duty sound like an exciting adventure! What fun! I loved your letter to Allison...how beautiful!

Kyla said...

Awesome way to look at it!

Amanda said...

Serve your country!

Chrissy said...

Joy, this cracked me up because I feel the same way! Last week I went to the doctor alone, and I was actually disappointed when they called my name on time. I would have gladly waited another hour just to get to sit and read uninterrupted.

I hope Uncle Sam can use you!

Lori said...

This cracked me up!!

FYI- I have used the "indispensable stay at home mom" excuse before and it worked for me. But I won't tell your husband that!

Beck said...

I've been called for jury duty EIGHT TIMES. EIGHT! I've never served on an actual jury, though - twice I was breastfeeding a very small child and was excused and the other six times the cases didn't come to trial. But I still think it would be fun - c'mon, lucky number NINE!

Joy, of course said...

Beck-This is my first time being called for Jury Duty but I suspect that the hopes of my husband will be correct and my children will be an adequate reason to excuse me. Bummer

Christine said...

since you put it that way i want to be on jury duty, too (no not really;-)

Christy said...

I was summoned once, but got out of it as my little one was just a few weeks old. Granted now I would love it!

TINA said...

THE 1ST TIME I WAS CALLED FOR JURY DUTY WAS WHEN RAY AND I WERE GETTING MARRIED. THEY EXCUSED ME FOR MY HONEYMOON. THE SECOND TIME WAS WHEN I WAS PREGNANT WITH BRITTNEE. IT WAS JANUARY, I WAS DUE IN FEBUARY AND GOT PICKED TO BE ON THE JURY. LUCKILY IT DIDN'T LAST LONG CAUSE IT GOT THROWN OUT. THE THIRD TIME WAS WHEN I WAS PREGNANT WITH TY. DIDN'T GET PICKED FOR THAT ONE THANKFULLY. NEEDLESS TO SAY I'M NOT PLANNING ON HAVING ANYMORE KIDS SO MAYBE I WON'T GET CALLED FOR JURY DUTY AGAIN.