Soka

Getting to know Gloria, shuttle driver extraordinaire

By Sofia Dugas, Reporter

I took a ride with Gloria in the SUA van. This is a space we all know too well. Gloria has the most epic stories and gives the most direct (sometimes shockingly foreword) advice, so I asked her a few questions and got a lot of answers in return.

I first asked her if she has any guiding principles or any compass that she feels guides her through life.

Gloria: I think I do Gloria 70 percent and 30 percent I do Christianity. I believe in a higher power but I don’t really practice. In the Catholic world what I do is wrong. I don’t go to church. I pray, but I don’t go to church. I used to. Something happened in my life that changed the way I view things and I feel like I’m walking along on a path and I feel someone behind me and that is God. But there is no one beside me, it’s just me walking alone.

That got me curious. What was it like growing up as Gloria? What did she want to be when she grew up?

Gloria: I had all these ideas of feminism, all of these liberal ideas and I come from a very, very, very traditional family where I used to get beat up because I talked to guys. My dad was very abusive, because that’s how it was in my family. They had no education. It was really bad. So I was the black sheep in my house. When we moved here to America, I did everything I wanted to do and then they really wouldn’t talk to me. My parents wouldn’t talk to me for a whole year. I was 23. It’s because I moved in with my boyfriend.

I didn’t want to get married. I grew up in a very little town. There were only three schools. One for girls, one for boys, and the other school in the outskirts of the town. I had a friend who was gay, he had to go to that school because he was stoned in the all-boys school. He was bullied. And I didn’t understand that.

I wondered how much trouble she got into.

Gloria: You have no idea how much trouble I got into.

I ended up marrying the guy who I moved in with for a year. Because of my parents. The second time I got married, I got married because I was pregnant. I told him– I am not your type I like them skinny and you’re not. I got pregnant and I was in shock. My mom said “you got to marry him.” He was in love with me, but I was not in love with him.  

After I divorced him I vowed never to be in this situation again.

After that, I wanted to know how she could ever want to get married again.

Gloria: I want to get married, but for the right reasons. The first thing I gave my daughter when she started dating was protection. I said, “You need to be responsible– do not depend on anyone. You need to take care of yourself. Don’t be in a situation you don’t want to be in.” 

I taught my kids differently. My daughter’s boyfriend lives with us. I don’t think you should be married to be with somebody. I don’t think you have to be married to enjoy having sex with somebody. That’s a Catholic thing and I believed it for the longest time. Now I do what I want.”

I wanted a final piece of advice, something that she would like everyone to know.

Gloria: I want you to know that you are in control of your body. Don’t be ashamed. Whatever that is. You control it. Don’t let anyone push you to do something you don’t feel comfortable doing. You are in control of your own body. Nobody has any power over you.  

I used to tell my kids, sex is the best thing if you do it with the right person. Parents are usually afraid of that. Don’t cheat yourself either. If you are going to have a sexual encounter, that’s fine but don’t be ashamed of it.

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