Book Glow editors handpick every product we feature. We may earn commission from the links on this page.

Read An Excerpt From And Then You Apply Ice: Stories By Pamela Gwyn Kripke

Read An Excerpt From And Then You Apply Ice: Stories By Pamela Gwyn Kripke

A captivating look at managing transgression, And Then You Apply Ice: Stories is an honest, funny and astute portrayal of the female experience. Below is an exclusive excerpt from the new story collection by Pamela Gwyn Kripke.




Sometimes, I wonder what would happen if Brad’s wife died. Early, I mean, not when she became old. It is a terrible thought, I know, but the idea enters my head anyway. It’s not that I wish for this to happen, for her to engage a parasite on an overseas trip or suffer a stroke or careen down a mountain on a scooter, because who would ever wish that for another person, particularly someone loved by the person you loved. Or love. Who knows which. Brad told me in one of our phone calls during my divorce that had he not been married, we could be a pair, within seconds. Nanoseconds. So I think about his being married and what an annoyance that is.

Other times, I think that I will just wait until his wife does die. At the natural time. The older time. This is the more respectable way to think, and I feel like a better person thinking about it like this, though it does present an enormous swath of time in which to twiddle one’s thumbs. Brad and I will be ninety, maybe. She is of good stock. Hearty. An athletic upper body, I can tell from the holiday cards. At ninety, we will combine households, share toasting ovens and fingertip towels. We will set up framed photos of our children on bookshelves and mantels. We will walk to town, wearing hats. We will be old but will not think that we are.


Meantime, my friend Sally wants me to go on a date with a man she knows. She says that he is the kind of man whom I would like: honest, brainy and handsome. Who wouldn’t like a man like that. I know, though, that even honest, brainy and handsome men have needs and wishes that require attention from a woman, should that woman decide to have more to do with him than have a Cobb salad in a restaurant. I am too busy waiting for Brad to deal with all of that, a meal, a second date, an intermingling of any kind, and I think that even talking with this man would simply be unprincipled. Sally says that I should go and just have the salad.

“This is not a moral decision,” she tells me.

Sally works with men and farms them out to her friends who actually want to meet them. Plenty of women want to do this. After the fourth time that she mentions it, I agree to go out with the man, Alan. My daughters also urge me to go out with Alan. I’m thinking that they, as teenagers, think that it will be amusing for them if I go through with it, though they insist that the date will be good for me, whatever that means. Good. Insane term.

“And wear a dress,” Sally says.

“A what?”

Related: Interview With Pamela Gwyn Kripke, Author Of And Then You Apply Ice: Stories

Visit our Reading Essentials section to discover the best bookshelvesreading chairsbook lights for reading at night, and more!

Receive top book recommendations directly in your inbox.


Posts Carousel

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *