I am sitting outside courtroom 158 typing this on a cell phone that autocorrects every other word I type, and with a suspiciously high number of bad words or indelicate subjects when it does, I might add. But there are things that need to be said.
I learned today that when unexpected things come up– like needing to attend your daughter’s arraignment so you can post her bail when the bond is set– you should . I was not on my game today.
First, I forgot that you can’t park anywhere downtown for free. I used all my loose change yesterday for a coke and some Cheddar Sour Cream chips out of the machine at work. I dug through every pocket, drawer, and car seat to scrape together the money for that snack.
They were delicious, and I don’t regret spending the money on them.
However, the change spent on them would have saved me a big headache this morning. After I spent some tense moments in heavy morning traffic (all of us criminals converged in downtown Tulsa at the same time) plus getting through the brain-twister street plans that is Tulsa Downtown, then locating and securing a parking spot ( which is akin to a cage match between drivers, only more violent), I felt pretty good about myself. Then, the glow of victory faded. There before me stood the parking meter from 1907 on the outside, but freakishly sophisticated about the caliber of silver it demands, and how often.
I then had to travel the lonely drive of shame out of the courthouse parking garage, passing all the people waiting in line to get their turn in the ring and compete to find a parking space of their very own.
Turns out, I wasn’t the only one who had to leave for the nearest store to break paper money into change to feed the parking monsters. Not two rows away, a guy driving a sassy red car (haven’t a clue what kind) was digging through his car seat folds, and scraping beneath his bucket seats, looking for a hint of silver. That sassy car followed right behind me out of the parking garage, through back alleys to a tiny, hidden convenience store, where the driver bought a pack of gum and requested the rest of the $10 of his change in quarters, same as me. We avoided eye contact. No need to bond over being ‘tards.
It can’t be a big surprise that finding parking that second time wasn’t easy nor was it quick. I fed the stupid parking meter, and then hiked through two counties to get to the courthouse.
The next obstacle I encountered was security. I couldn’t have planned a worse outfit for a metal detector if I tried.
Now, let me paint you a picture. I wear the same stuff pretty much all the time. I’m more interested in comfort than style, and that’s worked pretty well for me since I’m a poor person too. However, last week, I was given some really, really nice clothes, and because they are comfortable, not too fancy, and on hangers (thus eliminating the need to iron them), I’ve been stepping up my appearance a notch or two. I slept for crap last night, as did DJ, and sometime between the dusk and the dawn, I planned out a rather awesome outfit to wear to court, including changing my purse. (I’ve used the same beat-up black backpack-like purse for going on 5 years now. A new purse was simply unprecedented.)
From my metal stud covered purse to my snazzy metal stud covered boots, I was as close to a transformer a person can get without surgery. I won’t even mention the almost $20 of quarters I had bouncing around my pockets. I managed to explain away each and every cry of the metal wand, but the 908 people waiting in line behind me were not pleased, and I’m pretty sure the security personnel think I dressed that way on purpose. Plus, someone stole my carmex out of the bowl I had to put all the stuff in my pockets into. Keys, money, and chapstick went in; after all the uproar over my metal studded attire, only my keys and money were still in there. Someone stole my carmex.
Next, I went to the courtroom I was told to go to, but it was closed. Rebekkah’s arraignment was supposed to be at 8am, but the hours posted on the courtroom door specifically said 8:30am. Then, as I’m standing in a large crowd of people all waiting to go into the same courtroom, I realize, everyone is told they are being arraigned at 8am. By 10am, we had not even begun the A’s. I checked with some of the courtroom experts….you know, the world-weary, but delightfully helpful and easy to pick out of a crowd — women who know this system like the back of their hand because they’ve been traveling it quite a bit over the years. I spoke to two courthouse employees, who seemed confused by my questions, and two of Tulsa’s traffic court’s equivalent of Fugitives Most Wanted, and guess which ones actually helped me out? 🙂
After walking back through two counties to feed the meter again, battling security wands, and returning only to find we are still only in the A’s, I decided to go to work and wait for her to call. The minute I got to my computer, I looked up the docket again, and low and behold! She was not going to be arraigned until tomorrow morning (at 9am, with the rest of Oklahoma), and had no bond. My poor Rebekkah!! Evidently, lawyering up is offensive to some judges, and this one decided to make any defendants with attorneys wait an additional day to be arraigned, while openly showing her disgust for their audacity.
As crappy as this day was, I can imagine, hers has to suck ten times worse than mine.
Tomorrow, I’ll be a little better prepared. Soon, I will be one of those world-weary women directing people where to go and giving little tips to help them through the process. 🙂 I couldn’t do worse than today, anyways.
Say a little prayer for Rebekkah. She’s handling it fine, but her momma isn’t.