MS and I went to jury duty today. Jury duty at County court. Which is in a busy city. With parking garages and parallel parking. And lots of one way streets and lanes that randomly end with little notice. Don't forget functional railroad tracks.
I don't know about you, but one of my biggest coping strategies - developed over the course of 14 very stubborn years of living with ms - is "habit". Like a Wonder Twin power, if you will. For instance, I grew up in the area in which I reside. I park in the same row at the grocery store and the gym so that I don't lose my car. If I can't find a spot in that row? I leave. I know about how far the restrooms are at any place I go, which translates into knowing exactly how long I can (or can't) hold it. Ya heard?
Take me out of my little town, my office, my grocery store, or my gym? Well, let's just talk it out...
Google said today's drive would take 43 minutes, so I left 1hour and 15 minutes ahead of my arrival time. What Google didn't account for was sun glare, road construction, school buses, and the fact that every single person in the world was driving to work at that hour, though none were in any particular hurry.
While that brightly shining sun poses difficulty for each and every one of us on a morning commute, it (along with any extreme brightness or darkness) borders disaster for me. The reality is? My eyes do not adjust very well since the flare of the early 2000's. By the time I reached the city, about 5 minutes after I was due to report for duty, I could only see a few letters on the street signs. I was so busy trying to solve the Wheel of Fortune puzzle at each intersection that I didn't notice the lane closure up ahead. At that point, I had 2 choices...#1) be even later, due to the miles of cars who got the memo and were actually in the correct lane...or #2) get back in touch with my inner drag racer.
Parking garage was next. Fellow ms'ers with eyes like mine! What's the most exciting thing we can do when our eyes are seeing nothing but white spots? If you said, "drive into darkness!"...you are on my level!!! By God's grace, and only that, did I get my car into a space. I parked on a floor that was fairly empty so that I didn't risk putting black pinstripes down the sides of any fellow motorists.
Fast forward to entering the courthouse, where the elderly security guard with the gruff tone was barking at us to put our car keys and cell phones in the bowls prior to placing our purses on the conveyor belt. As I approached, I couldn't help but feel that it was my duty to not just be considered a juror, but to make this guy smile. So I said, in all my outward snark, "where are you goin' (with my keys and phone)?" To which he stopped, stared, threw me a half smile, and said, "to hell, maybe!"
From there, I had to be escorted to the marshalling room (because I still had the ginormous white spots in my eyes a la flash bulb and could not read). Apparently, I was walking directly into a court room and that sort of thing is frowned upon. A very sweet attorney saw my near-tastrophe and guided me to safety.
My eyesight slooowwwwly returned in the marshalling room, where facebook kept me company and a select few jurors pointed and laughed at/with me for my interactions with the security officer, or maybe for the fact that I needed to be taken to the proper room, or maybe because I decided that a bottle of water did not qualify under the "no food or beverage allowed in this room" designation, but I didn't want to get into trouble, so I concealed it in my purse and drank it that way. Because come on. That ms thing that randomly grabs me by the throat makes me kinda thirsty.
:::another perfect opportunity for the "I'm not drunk, I have MS" t-shirt:::
The rest of the day was rather uneventful. Thank You, Jesus. Until it was time to leave.
The parking garage? Yeah, about that. I never looked to see which floor I was on, so I had to stop the elevator at each floor, get out, walk up to where my car would have been, had it been the proper floor...rinse and repeat.
I finally found my car, but the spaces that were open on each side of me? Weren't anymore. Not only that, but I was parked in...both cars over their lines and within approximately 6 inches of my car. No matter. The diagonal parking made it possible for me to squeeze into the one rear door. I began utilizing this strange combination of twisting and pushing and pulling and stuffing myself into the slim opening of the rear door. All I could think of was that time I got my head stuck in the wrought iron railing when I was a child. Mom had to put Blue Bonnet margarine on my ears. How embarrassing it would be to get stuck in my own car door - and not by the ears? I doubted that anyone at the security booth would have butter, and I was positive I wouldn't want it if they did. Alas, despite my laughter and resulting weakness, I found enough leg strength to push myself through the door. That's when I realized I was not alone. A woman had witnessed my sheer brilliance and...cheered for me.
I don't know what to say, people. I just keep it classy ;-)
I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. Thus the title of my blog.
Be well, friends!