Tuesday, September 15, 2009


My daughter's court date was pushed off to September, instead of it being in July. She was upset about prolonging the agony, but like they say in the old country, "you can't fight City Hall". If you remember, she was charged for something she did when she was 17, which was passing a dooby to a friend at a party. She was being charged as an adult for the crime of "distributing dangerous drugs to a minor". These are the times when I wish I were living in the Netherlands and my daughter would be record-free.

I met her on Sunday morning at the court house. She was sitting alone, angry at the lawyer for showing up late, not really giving a damn that he was stuck in traffic, but I was more worried because she looked like Amy Winehouse and this is not someone you want to look like when you're up against a drug charge. She wore no makeup and her black hair was matted and wild. I shoved her into the ladies room and offered my entire makeup collection to her, which is something I usually don't do. After the makeover, she looked better, less disheveled and we waited for the lawyer to show up.

And doesn't a mother's heart sink when you see that your daughter knows just about everyone in the fucking court? A couple of young guys with their lawyers said hello to her. I thought - this is just another neighborhood for her. Why does she have to know all these young criminals? We saw a couple of Arabs walking in handcuffs and chains. Then we saw kippa wearing Jewish kids also in handcuffs and chains. The father of one of the Jewish kids who was in handcuffs was agitated at not being allowed to speak to his son. I felt sorry for him - it's tough to see your kid in handcuffs and chains. Then another young dude in handcuffs and chains passes us and recognizes my daughter. They exchange greetings. I let out a big 'Oy' after he passed.

"Why do you have to know every criminal in this city? Why can't you hook up with students. At least they're working towards their future in a decent way!"

"Students? They're not my type. They're ch'nunim (Hebrew for nerds)."

"So what. They'll be rich nerds or nerds with a profession at least. Can't you learn to like them?"

She tsk'd at me.

The trial came, the judge meted out the punishment, which was 140 hours of community service and no drivers license (she doesn't drive!) for a year. And another punishment was that she will have to take a Law and Judgment course at the Hebrew University.

I tried not to laugh out loud inside the courtroom as they read the verdict. Going to Hebrew University is a punishment? Perhaps for my daughter it will be. She'll be introduced to another side of life she's never experienced. And maybe, if I'm really lucky, she'll fall in love with one of those student nerds.

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