Lawyers shuffled in and out of the courtroom passing what appeared to be casual remarks and the public began to trickle into the Norwich City courtroom.
Having more time than I knew what to do with, I couldn’t help but notice the average dress for a typical defendant.
Sitting from my chair, I waited for the case I had come to watch begin and in the meantime the routine matters of the court went on with frequent pauses between.
I glanced around the room of about 16 attendants, most appearing before the judge and a few sitting by for support.
I counted slowly with subtle glances to the right and left, keeping a hidden tally on my notepad.
Six of the 16 other people sitting in the room were wearing sweat pants. Two sets of hot pink, two sets of grays (which seemed a more formal color), one fading blue-green and one set of black stretch pants.
It was October and still about 50 to 55 degrees, yet there I sat staring at what I can only describe as a jeweled pair of beaded sandals. There are five other pairs of open-toed feet staring at me in the courtroom. A striped pair of blue and orange flip flops, with what appears to be motor oil stains covering parts of them, make a valiant effort in strangling feet about two sizes too large.
Not a single person in the crowd is wearing a tie. Only two dress shirts, neither tucked in, and two pairs of khakis.
A lone woman accompanying her casually-dressed daughter is wearing dress pants, a nice blouse and a formal jacket. She must have felt embarrassed sticking out so clearly from the rest of the crowd.
At first I wondered if she was an attorney. I’m sure others wondered or just assumed too – what kind of person gets dressed up for court these days? Even the assistant district attorney eyed her with a strange look as if trying to remember a forgotten defense lawyer’s name.
Obviously someone was out of touch with the going fashions in our local judicial system, and it was distracting the lowered expectations...