Thursday, January 8, 2009

Saberton, Smith, Straddler, Tallon, Teller...

Pretty big day for me today. Lots of anxiety and relief, triumph and learning.

This morning I started out waking up at 645 am only to find lots of snow on the ground. This was wonderful after 6 straight days of rain and no snow so far the whole break. Mom and Robert had school cancelled, so mom joined me at the eye doctor this morning. Turns out I have the same thing I always have and the tissue inside my eyelids is inflammed, making it unable to produce enough lubrication to wet the inside of my eyes. This creates a problem when I am wearing contacts so I am now using two different kinds of eye drops to get my eyes better. One of them is steroids. Hopefully I won't be subjected to any sports drug tests anytime soon.

After taking a little nap and reading some Francine Rivers I got to work on my curriculum for my interview that has to be done by Saturday afternoon. I got the bulk of this work done, amidst the anxiety of 3:30 pm looming over my head. Some of you may or may not know that I have a teeny weeny speeding problem when driving. I have gotten just a few little tickets that have accumulated into a big problem over the years. All of this culminated the day after my birthday when I got a speeding ticket that put me over the limit and threatened to cause the suspension of my license...again. So, I stressed for about 3 weeks and then had my court date pushed back so that some of my points that were two years old would drop off first. I thought I would just have to be banking on the best case scenario in court - the cop doesn't show up - until a little good luck FINALLY came my way.

I won't go in to detail about this good luck, but a REALLY great cop who has a good bit of power became a vital connection for me. He did a little talking and got the cop who pulled me over to dismiss my ticket. This means...not only did I not get my license suspended, I had few enough points to sign up for the defensive driving course that deducts 3 MORe points from my driving record. So...I was ecstatic when this happened and will NOT be taking this good luck and good faith for granted. Unfortunately, I still had to go to court, just to make sure that the ticket was actually dismissed.

I have spent the past 3 months imagining what this experience would be like. Would it be like TV shows like Judge Judy? Would I be there alone with a lawyer and a judge in a black robe? Would there be cameras and reporters? Would I be expected to defend myself and present a case, complete with powerpoint slides and exhibit A's, B's, and C's? All of these things were going through my mind today as I got dressed up and drove down to the Municipal Court with mom. When I entered, I had to go througha medal detector, complete with body beeping paddle once through. There were four cops guarding the doorway and I began to think this might not be as glorified as I had imagined. The fingy and beat up tiles on the floor, the rusty door hinges and cracked wood paneling made way for the "court room" of sorts. Mom was parking the car and I began to think that she might not be joining me for this experience. When I walked into the room, there were excess of 20 other people sitting in pews awaiting their fate. I chose the closest seat to the door, thinking no one else would sit with me. This is typically deemed the goody goody seat, front row center, and I imagined that not many people appearing in court today would consider themselves goody-goody's.

There was a pretty diverse dempgraphic from what I saw. I avoided making much eye contact from the time I walked into the door until the time I sat down, I did not want to get into any more trouble than I was potentially in. As people flowed into the doors, I texted mom telling her she probably wouldn't want to wait since it seemed like a pretty busy court day. She came in anyway after being told that we could be there until 7 pm, but reassured she could come and go as she pleased. Shortly after mom, a woman in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs walked in and sat next to a lawyer in the defense seat. I was wondering how come she got to go first, but I decided against asking her. I didn't want to get up you know, lose my seat and all. So I let it go. One of the lawyers stood up and started calling names. I kinda hoped he'd call mine so that I couldn't have to plead anything, but instead could have someone else speak on my behalf. But he didn't and I ended up being relieved

At about 3:33 pm some woman who could or could not have been Judge Shawn Johnson (not to be confused with the American Olympic gymnast), based on the wooden nameplate, began reading names. As usual, alphabetical order forced me to sit in my pew and cringe at each name closer to T. Atwood, Arickson, Ambergy...Miller, Maxwell, Smith, Saddle...The closer they got to the T's, the harder my heart was beating, my face got hot and my palms sweaty. If you have seen the movie Wanted with Angelina Jolie I felt kind of like that guy, who can slow things down with his mind. I began to hear my heart beat slow down in my ears, the pounding getting louder and louder.

When the woman started calling T's, I knew I was in for it. I was calling on God for a miracle. Tallywhacker, Teller..."I will be next, I know I'm next, God I can't be next, please don't let me be next"...Thacker, Turnbull, Valkyrie...etc. "What?" She finishes reading the names and I glance over at mom, my heart finally slowing down. "Can we leave?" I ask her, and we slowly get up and exit the courtroom. It is all I can do to force a serious frown and walk in a straight line as we leave. We stop to talk to a policeman briefly just to make sure all my bases are covered and as soon as I get outside I can tell that it already smells different out there. More free. I broke out in son, in my head, and skipped to mom's car, ecstatic!

Needless to say, I have learned my lesson. My GPS has a little notification "moo" sound whenever I go more than 5 mph. over the speed limit. Cruise control may be a good investment when I make money...sometime in the next 10 years.

Good day? I think yes.


Grandpa said...

As I read this I could just see myself in the courtroom with you! It was such a vivid description! But what kind of an ending is that? Didn't anyone want to know why your name was not read? Or did you just accept that you were there the wrong day?

Jaclyn said...

My name not being read meant that my dismissal had gone through. So I was scott free after that