I’m not very diligent about picking up the mail because the only things we ever receive are either (a) junk mail bound for the recycling bin or (b) junk mail addressed to the four hundred bajillion previous residents and their assorted businesses, also bound for the recycling bin. In short, there’s usually nothing fun in the mail, thus why bother picking it up daily?
My theory was only confirmed this past Saturday, when I picked up our mail on the way back from exercise. (Our neighborhood only has community boxes. We’re farthest from the box, but still only a block away. I’m just lazy. And it’s cold.) I brought it into the house, sorting through the junk mail and the junk mail addressed to previous residents when I spotted something that I have been dreading for years.
The first thought that went through my mind when I saw those words was does this mean I’m an adult now?? My heart sank as I opened the envelope. I’ve never gotten a summons before and I was hoping to keep the streak alive, but, alas, there it was. I’ve been summoned.
So what’s the big deal – you ask? You just go and sit in a big room for a while and leave – you say. The big deal is that jury duty day will bring together so many of my neuroses that I’m sort of losing track. All of my irrational fears and dreaded parts of adulthood, wrapped up into one
glorious horrible day. Let’s discuss:
Travel: For those of you unfamiliar with the DFW metroplex, traffic behaves of its own accord – smoothly flowing one day and a clusterfuck the next. However, I must arrive promptly at 8:30. If I truly want to arrive *promptly at 8:30* I’ll need to leave my house around 7:45. BUT. I also don’t know how to get there or where to park so I should give myself more of a cushion, just in case I get stuck in the stupid one ways and morning traffic. So maybe I’ll leave at 7:30. BUT. That’s a freaking hour before I’m due to be there! That is ridiculous. Surely that can’t be right. ……. And back and forth I’ll go until probably the morning of, making a last minute decision based solely on how long it takes me to get ready.
Parking: The courthouse has an underground parking garage. I’ve actually already been to it (which – PRAISE BE – reduces some of my anxiety regarding the garage). However, it might possibly be hell on earth in terms of trying to, you know, actually park. The spaces are narrow, the entrances are hidden, the gatekeepers are cranky. NO GOOD CAN COME IN THIS PLACE.
Courthouse: Ok, this is the real crux of the entire neurosis here. After I park, I will have to find my way out of the parking garage and into the actual courthouse. I will need to follow signs (I hope there are signs, please let there be signs lest I have to ask someone – eep!) to find my way to the waiting area. So maybe not so bad, but still, it’s not my routine. I won’t know exactly where to go and what to do. I’ll have to talk to strangers and probably some weirdos. I will also have to try really hard not to immediately sweat through whatever shirt I’m wearing because I want to appear cool and calm and collected.
I just. Am terrified. Slightly.
If y’all don’t hear from me after February 10th, just assume that I never found my way out of that damned parking garage.