3.77 David E. Talbert Baggage Claim: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780743247191

Baggage Claim: A Novel

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9780743247191: Baggage Claim: A Novel

In this national bestseller and basis for the smash hit movie starring Paula Patton, Baggage Claim is the story of one woman who decides that she’s done flying solo.

When her baby sister announces she’s getting married in thirty days, sexy but single flight attendant Montana Moore realizes that she’s soon to be the oldest—and only—unwed woman in her family. With the help of fellow flight attendants and a zany network of airline employees, Montana embarks on a thirty-day, thirty-thousand-mile expedition to charm a potential suitor into becoming her fiancé.

Acclaimed author and director David E. Talbert welcomes you aboard a hilarious, witty, and charming tale where the final destination is the altar.

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About the Author:

David E. Talbert is a five-time NAACP Award-winning playwright, filmmaker, and bestselling author. David made his film directorial debut with Sony Pictures’ First Sunday, which opened as the #1 comedy in America. David’s hit plays and novels include Love on the Dotted Line, What My Husband Doesn’t Know, The Fabric of a Man, and Love in the Nick of Tyme. David lives in Los Angeles with his wife Lyn, and newborn son, Elias. Visit his website at DavidETalbert.com.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Prologue

Being a flight attendant for the last thirteen years, and looking for Mr. Right for almost as long, there are two things I know a lot about: men and baggage. Given the amount of time and travel spent with both, I've come to the conclusion that there are five kinds of men, like there are five kinds of baggage.

First, there's the overnight bag kind of man. Great for the pick-up-and-go kind of girl. Spontaneous. Alive. Convenient. Never makes a plan because he never has a plan and expects you to drop whatever your plans are at a moment's notice. Most of the time you do, because you can always count on having a good time (or at the very least, some good sex). Problem is, Overnight Bag Man is not very practical. Eventually you're going to need more room for the stuff you've picked up along the way. You'll want him to handle more, but he can't -- even if he wants to -- because he simply doesn't have the capacity.

Then there's the garment bag kind of man. He's accustomed to the finer things in life. Handsome. Articulate. Well groomed. Went to the best schools, eats at the fanciest restaurants, and drives only European cars. Garment Bag Man often hangs framed pictures, articles, and certificates around his house that highlight his favorite person: himself. When it rains, he runs inside for cover. He sleeps with a scarf, and spends more time in the mirror primping than you do. Though Garment Bag Man is extremely fashionable, he isn't too sturdy. He can't cope with the hard knocks, the potholes, or the crash landings that life inevitably brings. At the first sign of wear, or the first rip or tear, Garment Bag Man falls completely apart.

Next is the executive bag kind of man. Briefcase Man. He's the hard-edged, box-shaped piece of luggage that you could drop from a ten-story building and it wouldn't break. Structured. Firm. The kind of man that is unwavering. Willing to fight for or even die for what he believes in. The only problem with Briefcase Man is that he can only fit what he can fit. You must conform to him. He cannot and will not conform to you. It's either his way or the highway, and if it's the highway you chose, he is more than gentlemanly enough to drop you off at the nearest on-ramp.

There's also the classic duffel bag kind of man. Loose fitting. Unstructured. Unfocused and usually arrives unannounced. Not part of the original set, but picked up along the way as needed. Willing to do whatever, whenever, and to whomever as long as it leads him to that which he seeks. Duffel Bag Man will always try to fit more into his schedule than is humanly possible. He thinks he has more game than Michael Jordan, Emmitt Smith, and Barry Bonds put together, and that his game can get him anything he wants and take him anywhere he desires. Because he wasn't part of the original set in the first place, he is easily replaced and quickly forgotten.

And last is the trunk kind of man. Rugged. Weather-proof. Well traveled. A self-made man. The kind of man that's been through a lot and has seen a lot. Carries a lot of stuff, a lot of history: an ex-wife, a dead wife, or a tribe of spoiled and dependent children. Usually older and worn but never tired or torn. An international kind of man. Listens to a lot of jazz. Watches very little television. Always smells good. A self-made man who marches to the beat of his own drum and has little interest in new band members wishing to play a tune of their own

Now, the perfect man is like the perfect set of luggage -- strong, stylish, durable, and dependable. Adjustable, fit to travel, and fit to suit whatever the need at whatever the time. Full of compartments. So many that just when you think you've figured him out, and you've seen all there is to see, he surprises you with a hidden nook or a forbidden cranny.

Unfortunately, I haven't quite managed to find the perfect set of luggage or the perfect man. Only individual pieces. And not even matching ones. Just a bunch of random sizes, shapes, colors, and textures. Never the right pieces for the right purposes for the right predicaments. In fact, I've accumulated so much baggage from my past relationships, I'm starting to think that it's not a man that I need, it's a skycap.

Copyright © 2003 by Uncle Dave, Inc.

Chapter Five

Wednesday December 4th

Engagement Party Countdown:

20 days, 13 hours to "E-Day"

It was a beautiful late autumn morning. Vibrant shades of golden orange leaves covered the trees outside my window. The sun's piercing rays shone through the glass, bounced off my hardwood floors, ricocheted off my hanging mirror, and finally found its way to my face. My eyes squinted as the pouring light illuminated the room.

A week had passed since my disastrous ordeal with Graham and the double blow of finding out about Sheree's engagement and ensuing party. I had fully digested my Thanksgiving meal but I had not yet fully digested Graham. Thoughts of him still lingered, haunting my body like bad beef. Tired of feeling bad, I was determined that this day would be the first day of the rest of my life.

This would be a day free of yesterday's grief, devoid of yesterday's Graham. Today I would focus on my healing. The key to healing was admitting your pain and taking responsibility for your own actions. Focusing on your own personal role in creating your pain, not on the perpetrator of your pain. Now, it's not like I'm some expert on putting the emotional pieces of one's life back together, but I heard about the process on Oprah. And since her show is the infallible, undeniable, unadulterated gospel of pain and suffering, I figured it's at least worth trying.

Slowly, I lifted my cozy cotton sheets and fluffy down comforter, hopped out of bed, stood in front of the mirror atop my grandmother's refurbished wood dresser and with the courage of an alcoholic at an AA meeting, I admitted my pain.

"I, Montana Moore, am in pain."

So far so good.

"I'm in pain from being too trustworthy, too giving."

I'm pretty good at this.

"I'm in pain for believing that Graham was God's ebony angel and not the low-down, good-for-nothing, snake in the grass, cousin of Satan that he turned out to be!!"

"Meeooowwww!"

I had obviously strayed from my path. That was anger, not healing.

"I'm supposed to be focusing on the part I played. Dealing with my issues. Right, Muggly?"

"Meeooowwww!"

Okay, here goes again. I took a minute to roll my neck from side to side and shrug my shoulders. Then I planted my feet firmly on the ground, gritted my teeth, and once again admitted my pain.

"I, Montana Moore, am in pain. Pain from allowing myself to believe that being married was the single most important event in a woman's life. I am in pain from believing that being single, successful, and a good person wasn't enough. As a result, I allowed myself -- " Taking a deep breath, I continued.

"I allowed myself to -- " Taking another deep breath, noticing Muggly in the corner with her paw over her eyes.

"I allowed myself to be blinded by the conniving, deceitful, treacherous ways of a low-down, black bastard, good-for-nothing, slimy slithering face full of dirt, low to the ground, reptile snake in the grass!!!! I hate him! I hate him! I hate him! I HATE HIM!!!!"

Feathers from my down pillow filled the air. Screeching meows like sirens echoed through the room, as I continued beating the bed with the pillows until I was covered from head to toe like Frosty the Snowman. But I felt good. I felt really good. Oprah was right. But then again, Oprah is always right. I was laughing, crying, and looking ridiculous all at once, but feeling a lot better. Even Muggly looked refreshed.

I was tired of thinking of Graham, so my thoughts moved to Sheree. It was less than a month before her engagement party. Less than a month before I had to face my disgrace and lose the last tattered strand of my already low self-esteem. Okay, Montana, focus on something else. Focus on something good. Something positive.

My brain scrambled and scrambled like a hard drive seeking a file. Finally...it stopped. Work! Focus on work. Work is always a good distraction. A quick and good fix. And with a ten-day schedule of all-day cross-country flights ahead of me, I would have more than enough time to shift my focus. So I began packing, stuffing my bag with enough clothes to keep a person warm in a Russian winter. I showered, watered my plants, hugged Muggly, jumped in a cab, and raced to the airport.

Work. Work. Work. Work was my focus. My cure. No mention of Graham, no thoughts of Sheree. That was my new mantra. Over and over I repeated it as I rushed through the airport waving at agents, winking at vendors. No mention of Graham. No thoughts of Sheree. Finally reaching the plane, I exhaled. My will was strong. My resolve impenetrable.

"Sheree is getting what?!! To who?!" Gail exclaimed, almost in shock as she nearly burnt her arm on a pot of coffee.

Okay, so maybe I wasn't as strong as I thought.

"I don't know, I haven't met him yet and I can't remember his name. It was late when she told me."

"When did all this happen?"

"Last weekend, I guess."

"And you ain't never even met the guy?!"

"No."

"Flight attendants, prepare your doors for departure" rang through the air, as we were about to begin our ascent. We were on a short hop to Detroit, which was more than enough time for Gail to cheer me up, make me laugh, or at the very least, convince me that her life was in much worse condition than mine. I began my announcements knowing full well she wasn't near ready to let it go.

"Welcome aboard Transcontinental Airlines Flight 606 with non-stop service to Detroit's Metro Airport."

"You can't remember your sister's fiancé's name? How can you not know his name? You're about to be related!" Gail attempted to whisper while covering the intercom.

"Sheree barely knows his name. All she knows is that he drives a car, owns a house, and wants to be an optometrist. And more important, that he's willing to be marr...

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Book Description Touchstone Books. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 272 pages. Dimensions: 7.9in. x 5.2in. x 0.7in.Shes got thirty days and thirty thousand miles to find a husband. According to the women in Montana Moores family, youre not a lady until you marry and not a woman until you have birthed at least two children. At age thirty-five, Montana is neither and her prospects are meager. Her mother is working on husband number five, and her baby sister, Sheree, has just announced her engagement to a promising future doctor. Pledging to keep herself from being the oldest and the only woman in her entire family never to wed, Montana embarks on a thirty-day, thirty-thousand-mile expedition to charm a potential suitor into becoming her fianc. Whom will she choose Damon Diesel, a P. Diddy wannabe; Reverend Curtis P. Merewether, pastor of Greater House of Deliverance, Tabernacle of Praise, Worship, and Miracles; pompous attorney-turned-councilman Langston Jefferson Battle III; or Quinton Jamison, a multimillionaire whos twenty years her senior Outrageously funny. . . witty and charming, Baggage Claim is a divine literary debut from award-winning playwright David E. Talbert. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780743247191

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