I had to go to municipal court today about a summons for an expired license.
In my defense, my license was to be renewed around the time my mom passed away and then dad got sick with a mass in his chest and then an aneurism in his brain. Yes, I have been distracted. The renewal got lost in a pile of papers that I have been ignoring. Keep in mind that WEEKLY I go through my dad’s pile of papers and organize him. But, apparently a cop that does a random check for no reason at ALL does not care about my personal woes.
Needless to say, I immediately had to drive to DMV to take care of this. And I did.
Today was the big day! After making the big decision about what to wear and fortifying myself with a lemon bar, 4 tootsie rolls and some white chocolate shavings off the cake, I got there right on time. It looked like the line for Space Mountain in Disney World. There were rows and rows of people. There were crying babies in strollers. There were teenagers making out. While waiting for admittance, officers of the court came around and gave us some handy courtroom tips. Keep cell phones off and hidden. Take your sunglasses off the top of your head. Keep your hands out of your pockets. Pull up your pants. Hide the National Enquirer. Stuff like that.
Finally, I got admitted to the inner sanctum where I got to stand in yet another line with the same hoodlums, children, and for all I know drug dealers. They do not have separate lines for middle aged women who truly just did not have a stamp in the right place at the right time.
Turns out the line was to wait to talk to the prosecutor who is like GOD. He said “I will recommend this case be dismissed”. At least now I got to sit down and watch the proceedings. Several women charged with shop lifting get fines and community service. They are not permitted to ever set foot in Boscov’s or Penny’s again. The judge pionted out that you CAN still access the food court while avoiding these stores in the mall. The saddest thing was a poor woman who was stealing a shirt and shoes from Walmart who is no longer permitted to set foot in EITHER of the Walmarts in our town. I can’t even imagine where she will do her grocery shopping now. Hope she does not starve. I sat quietly next to Leon, who was wearing handcuffs. The real kind – not those plastic ties. On the other side was Annamaria who was pulled over and had both pot and an open container.
Finally, the judge called my name and pronounced it right. I went up to the defendant’s table and looked up. The judge said to me, “don’t I know you from another life?”. Honest to God, that is what he said. I panicked. Did I sing karaoke with this guy some long ago drunken night at the local watering hole? Did we date? Was he my son’s soccer coach? I finally read his name plate. “Judge Golden”. He was my ex-husband’s divorce attorney.
I said, “your honor, in my defense, I have sent many friends and clients your way”. He said “You are right. I must be good at what I do if you are sending clients my way”. I told him I thought he was a great divorce attorney. He said “case dismissed”. He explained to the angry crowd that there was no prejudice here. That one situation had nothing to do with the other. That I did not deserve to do hard time because I am a messy pile keeper. I slunk out of there amid angry stares and grumbling and high tailed it to Dunkin Donuts because I did all that without my coffee.
I am now a free woman.