I can spot them the minute they walk into the lobby of the district magistrate’s office.
Boys looking uncomfortable in ill-fitting suits, girls in heels and tight pants and bright, clingy tops.
And leading the way are anxious, respectable, often almost frumpy parents, asking the questions and pushing attorneys to have their children cleared.
But it’s the voices that speak the loudest.
“Mo-om,” the girl in the red blazer, the one gushing over her friend’s shoes, made it a two syllable word and I could hear her eyes roll.
“Just let it go, come on, let’s get out of here!”
Her voice is dripping with condescension; her mother, graying hair piled neatly in a bun, pauses. She was just asking if the dropped charges would remain on her daughter’s record — a fairly important question, when you think about it.
And it amazes me how often I watch that little scene play out. A son or daughter charged with underage drinking or theft or punching their roommate; an anxious parent trying to fix this problem like they have all other problems, and earning nothing but scorn from their offspring.
You know what would make my day? The next time some overgrown child rolls her eyes or belittles his mother, I’d just love to watch that parent stand up.
“You think you’re smarter than I am?” I wish they’d say. “You want me to treat you as an adult? Alright. Go for it.”
And they’d walk out the door, and let their son or daughter pay their own fines, hire their own lawyers, and learn for themselves that judges are harder to bully than parents.
I think, in the long run, everyone would be better off for it, blotted records or no.