Monday, April 13, 2009
You rebel. Here you are doing what I said not to do.
I got home from jury duty at about 5:30pm and my toddler flung herself on me and I felt like I had been gone for a week (and suddenly I had immediate and intense sympathy for working moms who are gone all day long), but that is not the point of this post. Well, toddler asked for a Cookie Monster juice box and I'm pretty lax in the nutrition department (as you will learn) so I fetched said box from the fridge. And I handed it to her and said, "What's the rule?" and she said in her irresistibly singsong voice, "NO SQUEEZING!" which was the correct answer. And then she took the little box and what did she do? You guessed it. She squeezed it. Hard.
But, suddenly, I had sympathy for my little girl. Why suddenly? Because I had a couple moments today where I was explicitly told not to do something and all I wanted to do was that forbidden thing.
Moment One. The supervisor in the Jury Room was a man named Larry and literally the nicest man in the world and he told us a cautionary tale about how we should under no circumstances use our BlackBerries in the courtroom. He told us about an ill-mannered sports agent who dared to use his BlackBerry while he was being questioned by the judge and how this terrible man was kicked off the case and ordered to sit in the jury room for a full week. This story had two effects on me: (uh oh - the list within the list) (1) It made me happy because it underscored just how addicted we are to our BlackBerries and my forthcoming novel BlackBerry Girl (Summer 2010) is all about our society's addiction to the Berry among other things; and (2) It made me want to use my BlackBerry in the courtroom. Literally, while the DA was questioning a witness, I felt my sweaty palm inching into my pocket to grab my Berry. Thankfully, I am not a toddler and was able to resist.
Moment Two (and Three and Four). Every time the judge dismissed us jurors, he turned to us and said sternly, "Do not under any circumstances talk with your fellow jurors or anyone for that matter about this case. Do not read any articles about this case. Do not look up this case on the Internet. Do not visit the scene of the crime or what you believe to be the scene of the crime." He even waved that foreboding and fatherly finger. And what did I want to do the second I stepped outside of the courtroom? I wanted to turn to my fellow jurors and ask what they thought about the opening statements. And what did I want to do when I stepped outside the courthouse? I wanted to call my husband and tell him all about the defendant. And what did I want to do when I walked inside my house (after doling out infinite hugs and kisses to the girls of course)? I wanted to Google up a storm. Again, thankfully, I was able to resist.
Is there a lesson hidden here somewhere? Maybe if we removed that word "don't" from our vocabulary (or at least limited its use) we'd be better - or at least more efficient - parents? Maybe if our parents or society didn't tell us not to date bad guys or drink too much wine or gossip... Well, you get the picture. Who knew a day spent at the New York Supreme Court would have me contemplating behavioral psychology?
Okay, off to go visit the scene of the crime :)