My day started out, well, terrible.
First, I had trouble sleeping, because I was going to (dun dun dun) Traffic Court for the first time in my life. I was worried about where to go and what to do. I finally woke up 15 minutes before my alarm and decided to stay up. I checked the ticket for the address and checked Google Maps and took a shower and blow-dried my hair and almost forgot my suit jacket on the way out the door.
When I got to the approximate area of the address, I discovered that street numbers were not listed on any of the buildings. So I drove through the parking lots trying to figure out which one was where I needed to be. Court time was rapidly approaching and I was getting desperate.
Finally someone opened up the building where I’d parked, so I got out of the car and locked it, thinking I’d at least go in and ask someone where I was supposed to go.
Then I looked down at my purse and saw that the zippered pocket where I put my keys was open. So I looked into the car…where the keys were still dangling from the ignition.
I didn’t really have time to panic or deal with that particular situation. Instead, I asked a man going into the building if this is where I was supposed to go. He said no, I needed to be next door. So I walked through the rain-sodden grass and pine straw to the adjacent building (did I mention it was raining?) and went for the first door I saw.
That turned out to be the wrong one, so I went outside again and reentered through the correct door. From there I was able to follow the signs to the courtroom.
It looked just like those courtrooms on TV. A lady sat up next to the judge’s bench doing paperwork. After a time she called out names to see who was there. There were only three other people in the room, and one of them ended up getting to leave because the defendant in their case had already settled.
Time ticked by, and I wondered when the judge was actually going to come out, and whether or not the police officer in my case was going to show up. I started to imagine giddily that he was detained and couldn’t make it, which would mean my case would be dismissed. Then, finally, the door to the back offices opened, and in stepped the officer.
He called my name, and we went outside the courtroom. “I don’t like taking people’s money at Christmas,” he said…and then he made me a very fair deal, which I took.
From that point it was just a matter of walking back to the first door to settle up. Feeling much better about life, I asked the lady at the desk if anyone could unlock my car for me. She called a dispatcher who found another police officer who kindly popped the lock.
And I still had an hour before I had to be at work!
So I went to Sunrise Grill for breakfast, and after that I went to Wal-Mart and bought myself some jeans so I wouldn’t have to wear the suit skirt anymore. (It has a slit up the front of the left leg that makes it difficult to sit, well, modestly.)
And I still made it in early to work, early enough that I had time to post all this. :)