How to live through your lawsuit: patience

When I’m working on deposition prep — and I do and will recommend that you plaintiffs do a lot of this work — I often get too tuckered out by the end of the day to get my own dinner together.

A week ago, I came home from my lawyer’s office, where I’d been compiling and copying  deposition exhibits. Really tiring work: I was standing virtually all day, moving between the conference room table and the xerox machine. My back and neck ached; I couldn’t imagine cooking.

So I headed to Grand Sichuan, not the nearest neighborhood Chinese restaurant but without question the best, and ordered for take-out two dishes which, as it happened, fed me for several subsequent dinners. (No, I didn’t get the soup dumplings. I’m sure you have to eat them at the restaurant for maximum ecstasy.)

Several days later, I noticed the two fortune cookies sitting on my counter, still sealed in their crinkly envelopes. I opened them, on the theory that, hey, they’re right in front of me so why not?

One fortune was not memorable. And at first I thought the second was equally trite. But then I read it again:

Patience is the key to joy.

The book I’m working on is called The Joy of Suing. And I had just finished doing scrupulous, detailed, finicky work on piles of documents and logs and a time line of my lawsuit.

Although a few days later I walked out of a small market because the food prep guy wasn’t instantly available to butter a bagel, i.e., I am not a particularly patient person, it occurs to me that in the context of litigation, at least, patience is indeed the path to joy.


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