Gloria had always been close to her mother, Estelle, and this closeness was reinforced when her father passed away several years before. Gloria was never a rebellious adolescent. She never rejected her mother’s values just to assert her independence as so many of her contemporaries had done. Estelle took advantage of the trust and esteem her daughter showed her in order to impress upon Gloria the importance of leading a virtuous life. Estelle was smart enough to avoid depicting sex as something evil. She even told her daughter that sensual attractions could be very exciting. She emphasized, however, that a girl who allowed herself to be used as a fornicating apparatus was her own worst enemy. In the first place, the man who took advantage of her would never respect her. In the second place, once she had been used as an object, she would never respect herself either.
Estelle stressed that marriage was the ideal place for a woman’s sexual fulfillment. The love and loyalty of her husband would honor her. Sex would be a vital bridge that would link two loving individuals in body as well as soul. Because of its elemental intensity, sex would strengthen the bond between them. It would help them forge a friendship that would deepen and expand through time. Outside of marriage, however, sex could wreck havoc on people’s lives since there would be no commitment. Each partner would take what he or she wanted from the other, and then once they were satiated, they would dump one another and look for fun elsewhere. Or if one of the partners tried to remain faithful, the other would constantly degrade him or her by flaunting his or her new conquest in the other’s face. Estelle told her daughter about her cousin, Tom, who deserted his lovely wife and family in favor of a much older woman. That woman, Ann, was not half as attractive as Tom’s wife. In fact, she was a piece of moldy old cake. Ann kept two-timing Tom with other men, yet Tom never revolted. It was as though the man were under a spell and couldn’t free himself from the bitch’s power. Ann finally kicked him out of her life. Licking his wounds, Tom then tried to return to his wife but his wife refused to take him back.
“It served him right,” Estelle declared vehemently. “He was a selfish, irresponsible bastard. He didn’t deserve to have her. I wouldn’t have forgiven him either.”
Gloria went off to university in the fall and, as Estelle had predicted, her life improved markedly. Her self-esteem shot up, too. She did meet some very congenial people whose intellectual interests she shared. She was never singled out as some kind of freak. Gloria had learned a valuable lesson during her time in high school. In her innocence she had revealed to her classmates at the very outset that she had never had any sexual experiences. She didn’t make the same mistake again at university. She kept her virginity a secret. When fellow-students asked her for details about her intimate life, she would give very polite but evasive answers. This way, she created an aura of mystery about herself. Many of her new friends were convinced that Gloria was a fascinating young woman capable of attracting men like a magnet. They viewed her as a kind of 21st century Marlene Dietrich, the celebrated Hollywood movie star of the previous century, all deftness and allure, a cool goddess promising everything and not necessarily delivering anything. Buoyed up by her new self-confidence, Gloria played the role to the hilt. Men tended to salivate over her while remaining respectful, because now she projected an image of unassailable self-assurance. One fellow-student, a lot more enterprising than the others, was brazen enough to invite her to sleep with him. Far from being scandalized, Gloria replied with an unflappable calm that fairly floored him: “Why should I? You’re not worth it. Besides, I don’t give out free samples.” It took the young man a while before he could recover from the wallop his ego had suffered.
Her four years of undergraduate studies seemed to pass in a flash. She graduatedsumma cum laude with an honors degree in art history. Gloria also showed considerable talent as a painter. Indeed, her professors in the Fine Arts Program were sure that she would make a name for herself in the world of art, and sooner rather than later. To reward her daughter for her superb academic performance, Estelle told her to visit one of the finest jewellers in the city, Wright & Mason, and choose anything that struck her fancy.
The morning she entered the store, one of the two owners, Corey Wright was making his rounds. He did not have the looks of a matinee idol; he was not what you might describe as drop-dead handsome. There was, however, an impressive dignity in the demeanor of this forty-year-old man. A warmth radiating from him seemed to fairly envelop the person to whom he happened to be talking at a given moment. And he was not bad looking at all.
Gloria had by now blossomed into a sumptuous beauty. Her regal self-assurance combined with an annihilating smile made heads turn everywhere she went. As soon as she entered Corey’s field of vision, he stopped in his tracks, forgot what he was saying to one of his employees, and stood there, mesmerized, like a religious believer who had just witnessed a miracle.
Propelled by a force stronger thann his conscious will, Corey went over to the counter where Gloria was examining an exquisite broach and, in a voice melting with emotion, said: “Madam, you seem like such a lovely lady. I would like to get to know you better. Would you allow me to invite you to lunch?”
Although Gloria was startled by this sudden and totally unexpected turn of events, she was not in the least shocked or offended, because Corey struck her immediately as being a very lovely gentleman and completely sincere. Nevertheless, she was astonished to hear herself replying: “I’d like that very much. I accept with pleasure.”
“The Ice Queen” is on every Wednesday at 9am EST. Please participate in the show by leaving comments and suggestions about the show or what you think it should happen next! Our author might consider your ideas for the next episode! For more information about the author Dr. Leonard Rosmarin and his book “Getting Enough” please visit here.
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