Today was my first day of probation. August 29, 2006. I was anxious all day. I couldn’t wait for 3:30 to arrive so I could finally get this ‘wondering and worrying’ over with. I had no idea what to expect. Was I going to be sitting in a room full of snarling, gold capped toothed ex-cons? Was it going to be much better than I anticipated? I had no clue. I ironed my brown button up blouse and my yellow below the knee a-line skirt. I fixed my hair and wore little make up. I gathered my binder full of every piece of information since the case has started, my water bottle, and left. I was there ten minutes early. I thought maybe this would look good. I entered the building trying not to vomit on my shoes. I walked to the window that resembled the kind where you would pre-pay for your gas in a bad neighborhood. I wondered if it was bullet proof. I told them my name and said I was to be there at 3:30. The man asked for my name and looked confused. He checked some paperwork, checked his computer, and then it was certain – he was confused. He called who I imagined was a supervisor. They told me to have a seat and fill out some paperwork. There were a couple men in there waiting. Perhaps there was no dress code and the ironing of my planned outfit was likely a waste of time, because the other ‘offenders’ were adorned in wife beater tank tops and jeans. I could hear them smirking at me when I was at the counter answering the question “Are you on probation?”
After about 2 minutes of filling out paperwork in the far corner of the room, I heard my name called. The woman behind the glass informed me that my paperwork did not arrive on time and the officer I was assigned to was already gone for the day. I had to come back tomorrow. My stomach actually fell on the floor. Seriously. Because when I bent down to pick it up, I slightly threw up in my mouth.
God. I have to go through this AGAIN?? This ‘wondering and worrying’? MORE waiting. I have been waiting and wondering and worrying for 9 months. How much more can I take? And really, will anything feel better after tomorrow? Will any questions be answered? Will any fears be calmed?
I returned home, took off my clothes, and put on my robe. I retired for the day. Charlie had the kids at a cookout at his aunts and I was going to go to bed and sulk. Maybe even take a sleeping pill. But before this, I decided to do one more thing – to make orange Jell-O with mandarin orange slices – a treat before bed for the kids.
I wonder how many people on probation make Jell-O that is not in the form of shots.