My Jury Duty actually didn’t suck

WHAT A WEIRD TIME, GUYS.

Obviously, the election. I’m going to spare you guys on my rants. I can’t say the same for my poor mom and sister, who received all my backlash that had nothing to do with them on election night. I was 56 margaritas in and 600 texts in before my mom wrote: “Stop texting us. I can’t turn my phone off because I have an alarm for a flight in the morning. So stop texting us.” But did I stop? Did I tell let them go to sleep? Did I tell her there’s a Do Not Disturb feature where she didn’t have to turn her phone off but would stop receiving the notifications of crazy texts from me? Of course not. I did none of the above. I kept texting and then I went out on the town. Because it was my birthday.

Yes, people. I turned 25 the day that Trump got elected.

I woke up the next day to realize that the unthinkable was very thinkable. I mean I, quite literally, broke up with someone earlier this year because he told me he would vote for Trump. But here I was: On November 9th, at 7am, severely hungover, 25 years old, with Trump as my president. 

Also it was like 90 degrees out that day. It felt like I woke up in hell.

So today, I’m going to tell you a story I heard a few weeks ago that continually reminds me that really cool things happen in this world and will continue to happen no matter who the prezzy is. I had thought it was going to be a horrible day and it turned out pretty okay. I was proved wrong. Which, with this election, I hope to be again.

I had jury duty a few weeks ago. I showed up at 8am to the Santa Monica courthouse to do my due diligence of being a United State citizen. When I first walked into the jury room, it was completely empty. There was no one there to check me in or tell me that I looked great in the slacks and blazer I haven’t worn in 6 years and had rummaged out of the back of my closet. So far I was doing my part and the court system was NOT doing theirs.

I took a seat at one of the tables and waited for more of my jurors to arrive. A dude walked in who was probably in his 50s and sat right next to me. He told me that he had done jury duty there before and they usually open the door to check everyone in at 9am. Which is frustrating because they told us to arrive at 8am.

Needless to say, I was annoyed. I hadn’t eaten breakfast and just wanted to climb back into bed. But this guy was a talker. You know the type. Who keep talking and talking, no matter how little or irrelevant your answers are. They say, “What’s your favorite TV show?” and you say, “No,” and they say, “Interesting, I’ve never heard of that one. Tell me more about it. Is that on HBO??? I don’t get HBO. Do you get HBO?” After about ten minutes, I realized I had no exit route and decided to just lean into the conversation.

We kept talking and, as the hours passed, we learned a lot about one another. We started off small. He asked me what I did for a living and I asked if he preferred to load toilet paper coming from the top or bottom. What I ended up walking away with, however, was the most amazing story ever: How he met his wife.

Back in the day, he wasn’t in much of a hurry to meet someone. His friend kept trying to set him up with his girlfriend’s best friend. He said that at one point he had even agreed to go on a double date and realized a half hour before that he really didn’t want to go. He told his friend, “Hey, I’m not coming.” And continued to play video games. Or chess. Whatever it is dudes played before Fifa existed. Other than with themselves.

As a perpetual single man, he enjoyed his alone time and never really asked girls out. He said he didn’t even “know how to date.” Which, in my opinion, is such a crock of shit. Guys who say “I really like you.. I just don’t really know how to date!” are the bane of my existence. Ummmm, YOU HANG OUT WITH SOMEONE AND SAY NICE THINGS TO THEM AND SEND THE OCCASIONALLY EDIBLE ARRANGEMENT TO THEIR WORK SO THAT THEY CAN BRAG ABOUT HOW MUCH THEY ARE LOVED AND HOW MUCH THEIR CO-WORKERS ARE NOT. Watch a Rachel McAdams movie and get back to me.

He was going to college at Santa Monica community college. One day he arrived early to class and saw this really gorgeous girl walking to class. The next day, he arrived at school on time and didn’t see the girl. He deciphered her class must be a little earlier than his. So, he started arriving early everyday to see her. Eventually, he asked if he could walk her to class. She said yes.

Let me just interject here by saying I am weary of ANYBODY that looks gorgeous while walking to class. Remember how back in college and in the beginning of the semester, girls would get ready and look good for class? Then once the semester was about half-way through, they would decide no one in their 8am stats class was actually worth the straightener burns so they’d start arriving looking like a piece of garbage? I always skipped that first part. I embraced my garbage looking lifestyle from day one. Once I wore a bra to class and my professor said, “Someone’s dressed up!” A bra, people.

So he was walking this girl to class everyday. A couple weeks in, she asked, “Are you going to ask me out or what?” and he said, “Is that how these things work?” And instead of vomiting on the floor immediately at his ignorance like I would have done, she said, “Yes. You’re gonna take me out to a restaurant this Friday. Somewhere nice. With a candle on the table.” LIKE THE BALLER THAT SHE IS.

Obviously we all know where this shit ends. They fall in love and he invites her to his family dinner on Sunday night because this sort of story only happens to people who have family dinner on Sunday nights.

When she walks in the door, she sees his grandma and says, “MARLA?!”

Yep. She already knew his grandma. She volunteers at Marla’s retirement home in her free time because she’s a SAINT. Marla was her favorite resident. She was Marla’s favorite volunteer. Marla had told him about this girl before. She had tried to set them up. But, as we all now know, he was a die-hard bachelor and didn’t listen to his granny.

When he ended up bringing this girl to a party with his friends, guess what they learned? Of course, this was the ORIGINAL GIRL THAT HE BLEW OFF. His new girlfriend was his friend’s girlfriend’s best friend that I told you about like seven paragraphs ago.

RIGHT!?!?!? It’s. All. Bananas.

He said that he’s always taken it as a sign that they were meant to meet each other on their own. Not through his friend, or the friend’s girlfriend, or even sweet granny Marla. Now, they’ve been married for almost thirty years and have two daughters in their twenties.

By the time someone opened up the jury window and checked us in, it was 10:30am and we had been talking for two and a half hours. The lady at the counter was very angry because there had obviously been some miscommunication on their end about who was going to check in the jurors that Monday morning. She gave us a slip that said we completed our year’s worth of jury duty and sent us on our way.

This annoying-turned-sweet man walked me to my car in the parking lot and, after he left, I realized that we never even exchanged names. He is just a random stranger at jury duty who gifted me his story that I haven’t been able to forget. I loved it. It confirms my belief that there must be a plan and a method to this madness that we call life.

Did I just talk about politics and religion in the same post? Whoops. I hope this isn’t our first date.

Everyone have a happy and thankful Thanksgiving! Go lean into conversations and situations that seem like they’re going to suck. Give them the benefit of the doubt. I hope you’re proved wrong.

5 thoughts on “My Jury Duty actually didn’t suck

  1. Good one, Caroline. Thanks for the heartwarming story….and I always enjoy your sense of humor. Have a happy Thanksgiving!
    Teressa

  2. Congrats on this “Tragic Tales” Caroline! You
    have made “life” lemon aid out of “election” lemons 🍋 And you will always remember your 25th BD 🎈

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