Sunday, October 05, 2008

Never Say Never Cause Sometimes We Do The Very Thing We Said We Would NEVER Do! - Julia Thomas

Never Say Never Cause Sometimes We Do The Very Thing We Said We Would NEVER Do!
By Julia Thomas

ISBN# 978-1-4257-9386-9
Publisher Xlibris
Genre Inspirational Fiction.
Published date November 15Th 2007
Where it can be purchased

It is part of human nature for us to seek ultimate happiness and to want more than what our eyes have ever seen. As life is never perfect, people tend to get frustrated about their lives, and in the process they eventually lose their sense of purpose. “Never Say Never” is a compelling new novel about the lives four young women of a colour whose friendship dates back to childhood. It presents the story of how their lives emerged from early adolescence into adulthood. Through the pages of this work, readers will meet an unforgettable quartet — Amanda, a successful doctor, LaNae an entrepreneur, Monique, a hairstylist, and Celeste, an educator — and through each of their stories, they will witness the obstacles that comes with careers, their own search for meaning and happiness, and ultimately discover their relationships that evolve around family, friendship and love. Through friendship, these women grow and evolve, both individually and collectively. The message of this book is clear: You might not know yourself as well as you think you do or know what you want out of life and everything that shows up unplanned is not an unfortunate thing.

Amanda’s Introduction and
Family Tree I

Why is it that all little girls want to grow up to be strong, beautiful wives?
Is it because from the moment we arrive, our mothers start dressing us in our cute Sunday outfits? You know, it all begins with your first pair of lace socks and pink or yellow pair of ruffled-butt panties. Before you know it, you’re shopping for debutante and prom gowns, and let’s not leave out the most important part, the fine date.
It’s all about being cute enough and smart enough to meet the right man. Do you know anyone that was able to obtain that tall order? Sure you do, but they’re not sharing their secret.
My name is Amanda. I’m thirty-one years old, and I haven’t made any progress since I danced the night away in my emerald green prom dress. For that matter, neither have my three best friends—Celeste, Monique, and LaNae.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re happy, but we’re single. We’re professional, attractive black women with nice (fat) bank accounts, and we’re still single. Yes, we’ve tried and made many, many mistakes. I wonder, does it all go back to the summer of ’79 when we, the Cougar Cats, as we called ourselves, made a pact with each other to never date outside of our race, to never date anyone with kids, to always be our own boss, and to never marry a man whose income was below our own?
It can’t be that. We were black and proud and knew that some superfine athlete was going to take us all the way to the top with them, or at least hold the ladder while we climbed to the top on our own. We’d seen several black men climb to the top with a football or basketball in one hand and a blond-haired, blue-eyed chick on the other.
How is it that they have the right formula to get that man to the altar? What gives? Can you also explain to me why having a chick that’s not his same race on his arm causes a black man to feel like he’s made it? You know what just came to me? It’s not only the man that feels like he’s made it, but it’s every other black man that sees him and thinks that that’s a part of success. You can count on one hand the number of successful white men who have picked up a colored woman at the gas station, a drug store, or a bus stop; took her home to meet his family and he’s talking about a wedding date . . . I don’t think so . . .
Who’s going to be brave enough to ask someone that’s living that life the question why”?
Hell, I’m not, but I sure wish someone would. There has to be a few single black males out there looking for a soul mate in the form of an Egyptian Black Queen. Me and my chicks (Celeste, Monique, and LaNae) got together and decided to share our personal lives with you. It may bless your soul to know that you are not the only woman in the world to make poor decisions or just plain stupid mistakes, all in the name of love, lust, and the fantasy of a life of happiness ever after. This is our story in our words and situations we’ve shared or worked through with each other. We are the first to admit and confess that we came up short in fairy tales and magic class (we went to the beach that day and missed the review). There are no ruby slippers that can get
you out of a mess, but you can put on a pair of red pumps to make your man forget he’s mad at you; that magic works about thirty minutes. Then he’s asking you when did you get the shoes and how come he’s never seen them before and who else have you been wearing them for? For some of us, we are treated to an unexpected ride in a tornado. The details of that adventure are a few chapters away, so stay tuned. We’ll learn there’s no Prince Charming just around the corner waiting for us. He won’t ride in on a horse, snatch us up, and ride us off into the sunset. Mostly he’s coming on a bus, and you’ll need to loan him fare to get home. The closest you’ll get to seeing a Prince is by standing in line to get front row tickets to his concert. If you’re wearing purple you might catch his eye but instead of a kiss or a touch of his hand, he may bat his eyelashes at you and throw you his pocket hanky.

Now about those frogs . . . You find yourself spending all your free time at your local fishing hole trying to pick the right frog to take home and make a life with. Ha!
Next thing ya know, people are talking about how you smell due to all the ugly, smelly frogs you’ve been making out with and kissing. My sisters, let me hip you to a thing or two: they stayed frogs. You’d do better to find someone down on his luck. Give him (and yourself after the frog adventure) a bath, a haircut, and enroll him in adult school. Then keep him on ice till the wedding day because one of your skanky friends will not care where you got him from or what you had to do to get him straightened out. They’ll see fresh meat and want him for themselves.
Question, “How did men figure out that a dog would be his best friend, but women can’t figure out that a human cat is never going to be her best companion?”
Okay, that’s a funny joke; and if you’re not laughing, you’ve mostly had too many bad cat women experiences in your life and you need to do something about it.

All right, back to fairy-tale land. Balls are wonderful to attend if you’re not fighting off your mean stepsisters or you don’t have to witness Prince Charming dancing the night away with your skanky ex-best friend because she’s promised to make him feel like a king before the night’s over. Finding love is no fairy-tale experience. You have to make sound decisions, and any improvements that need to be made should start with you. You should ask yourself and know how you feel about yourself: do you have a healthy love for yourself? What do you know about men and dating, and do you have reasonable expectations about what is available and obtainable in the wonderful world of relationships, dating, and marriage?
Now that you know where I’m coming from, let me tell you a little bit about me and how I became the woman I am.

I, Amanda Kelli Winters, am a doctor. I bring life into this world, and I just wonder sometimes if I’ll experience this joy for myself in the traditional way. Yes, with husband in tote. Marriage is supposed to be forever. I’ve been told that once you start to resign yourself to the realities that you’re gonna spend the rest of your life with this one person, you’ll start to ask yourself, is this love and all that comes with it enough for you? And check this: if you’re thinking it, he’s been thinking it. I’ve had a few relationships, but none so far that I thought would take me all the way to the finish line—you know, the altar.

My family was very poor; we lived in East LA. My father had health issues, so he could only work a part-time job. When he did put in eight-hour days, he might not be able to work for the next two days. The one or two times my father saw a doctor, they would only allude to its being a problem with his respiratory system. My dad, Daniel, didn’t have an insurance plan. Therefore, there wasn’t any treatment that he could receive on a regular basis. Every now and then, he would have to go to White Memorial’s emergency room for an oxygen treatment. The doctor’s suggestions were always the same: take it easy and learn to live with a respiratory disease. My
mother, Elizabeth, and her mother, Grace, cleaned houses for a living. I guess it was clear that there wasn’t much money, so we were always five dollars short and fifteen minutes too late for everything. Ma was very beautiful; she had a light in her eyes that brightened up a room like sunshine. She never stopped hoping for a better life for me and a healing for my father. My mother told me that when Dad was younger, he spent a lot of time working in the coal mines of Kentucky with his grandpa. But Dad had problems with the dust and had to give it up. She also said my dad loved playing sports, and in high school, he tried to play everything. But he never had the stamina to compete, and by his late teens, everyday household chores took away all
his energy.

My grandma, Grace, and my great-grandma, Betty Jo, set the beat and tone for the music that our family would dance to. They used to say, as long as you can hear the music, the dance is not over. In other words, life is going to be hard, but if you keep walking toward your hope in the future, in time you will arrive. Betty Jo was a quiet woman and had a special light in her eyes too. It reflected hope and peace. Betty Jo was one of the housekeepers at Mr. Ross’s plantation, and because they were understaffed, she could pick up extra money by working in the fields after a regular day’s work. One evening, Betty Jo was caught in the fields after the sunset and a couple workers raped her. Because it was dark and it wasn’t just one man, she couldn’t name her attacker, the father of her child. Nine months later, more attention came her way as everyone—from the town to Mr. Ross—wondered who would the baby look like and how would Betty Jo survive this hardship. Outside of her own family, there wasn’t much help for a single mother; and while help was needed, it would come in its own time and way. Betty Jo would hang as close as she could to the plantation owner, Mr. Ross, AKA the Boss. Betty Jo liked his speech pattern, and when she was alone in the field, she practiced the phrases that he’d used that day. Prior to the attack, Betty Jo let it slip out to Mr. Ross that she wanted to move north and go to school and find a respectable job. Mr. Ross looked at her and said, “Good for you. Do you have money saved for your travels and school?” Betty Jo said, “Some, but not enough.” Mr. Ross said, “Don’t put the wagon ahead of the horse. Be wise, not foolish. Don’t run off half cocked. Make a plan, follow it, and in time, you’ll be on your way.” Betty Jo wanted to improve her manners and etiquette. She had an appreciation for words and wanted to improve her reading and writing. When she put away the books that were left out, she’d flip through them before returning them to the shelf.
She’d collect and remove the old newspapers lying around the house; she told anyone who asked that she needed it to help start the fire in her fire pit at home. Mr. Ross had a soft spot in his heart for Betty Jo because she appeared to be kind and helpful beyond what was required of her as an employee. It hadn’t gotten past him that she was trying to learn, and he caught her reading his books on a few occasions. Mr. Ross hoped Betty Jo’s secret dream would come true too. Needless to say, when he heard of her attack in the fields, he let it be known that if he ever found out who the attackers were, there would be hell to pay. He stated that Betty Jo was one of his best workers and what happened to her was a major setback in the household. But the truth was, it was an unjust act on a young woman that he quietly respected.


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Hussey said...

Through the pages of this work, readers will meet an unforgettable quartet — Amanda, a successful doctor, LaNae an entrepreneur, Monique, a hairstylist, and Celeste, an educator — and through each of their stories

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