Twelve Angry Moms (or How I Got Out of Jury Duty)
After much hoop-jumping and aggravation, I now have an ‘official’ email declaring me exempt from jury duty. It seems that even the Baltimore County Circuit Court recognizes Full-Time Parental Unit (I refuse to use that other term that is so often used to describe what it is I do…urgh) as one of the few occupations that does not allow time off for jury duty (or illness, or vacation, or Flag Day, or using the bathroom…). Which just goes to show that not even the justice system in this country has the cojones to take on what your average parent of a toddler has to handle on a daily basis.
Sure, I’ll serve on a jury. There’s just one thing, I’m going to need to bring my highly energetic and wildly unpredictable young charge with me. You do provide all-you-can-throw eat Cheerios and organic yogurt, right?
In my defense, I was actually looking forward to jury duty…no, really! Aside from having to get up at the crack of dawn and contend with rush hour traffic, jury duty is a win-win for me. See, in an average week, I act as entertainment coordinator, chef, chauffeur, personal shopper, nurse, laundress, therapist, landscaper, housekeeper, painter, and problem-solver extraordinaire. Oh, hell, who am I kidding? I do nearly all that in an average day. Plus, although most people don’t even realize it, I actually do have a non-parental job that I work in my ‘spare time’. So, in all honestly, jury duty would be a walk in the park and a nice break from my normal jack-of-all-tradery.
Several years ago I was called for jury duty which, basically, consisted of sitting around a waiting room for a few hours and then being informed that my case had been plea bargained before getting paid $7.50 and being sent on my way. I was in my twenties, working as an artist, and had much better things to do with my time than sitting in a roomful of strangers watching a couple of schmucks yuk it up on some cheesy morning talk show. Now, the prospect of spending time sitting quietly with a bunch of people who don’t know me and therefore have no reason to make demands of me sounds like a little slice of heaven. They wouldn’t even need to pay me.
But, alas, parental duties trump civic duties. And so, as long I am the parent of a non-school aged child, I will be neither judge, jury, nor executioner.
And the criminals of Baltimore County heave a collective sigh of relief.