Passive Echoes

"Someday I Am Going To Marry You"

Wedding Gown

During a moment of reflection, Marcia recalled a statement that Larry made in 1968:

"Someday I am going to marry you, Marcia. We will live far away in the mountains, away from everything and everyone, with our son."   

This occurred one evening in September 1968 while sitting on a picnic table at UNCSA. Larry emphatically spoke the words above to Marcia in the midst of a philosophical disagreement about the meaning of love. Upset at Larry at the time, her response to his untimely statement was:

"You are so crazy, Larry. At this moment, I don’t even like you that much!”

Marcia next proceeded to run to her dorm. Larry chased her down to apologize for criticizing, and in her perception, challenging her adolescent thoughts about "true" love. The debate began because Larry questioned her use of the word love and expressed his opinion that he felt that she did not fully comprehend what "true love" entailed, as mentioned in a previous chapter.

Usually their differences were settled by discussion. In this instance, they were beyond the point of reasoning, thus Larry merely apologized for hurting her feelings. Next, they reconciled and conceded with kisses and a compromise to never debate the subjects of love and religion again because they seemed to always spark an argument. 

Larry was a masterful debater and she was no match for him in matters of philosophy. He spent many long hours with his father and several of his father's physician friends discussing deep seated truths and theories about life.

Marcia was unaccustomed to such analysis and inquiry into her belief system and considered his questionings in this instance as a personal assault on her maturity and intellect. Yet, this is what she admired most about him; his maturity, insight, and intelligence.

She enjoyed tremendously their deep discussions rather than the typical mundane and trivial conversations that she had with other boys and girls in their age group. They could never stay angry with each other for very long, except in 1970.

Even then, that chemistry, the passion that existed between them was ever present while they were upset or not speaking. That year, if left alone under the right conditions, they would not have remained angry nor been capable of resisting each other.

Now, those words spoken by Larry had become a reality and Marcia was so amazed by his youthful declaration at the mere age of 15 years-old. She asked him one day before their marriage, "How did you know?”

He explained that his statement was more of an acknowledgement that it was his desire to marry someone who possessed her “total package” of exceptional beauty, concealed and secreted passion, superb talent, equal or superior intelligence, grace, kindness, modesty, unexploited spirituality, and humility. Of course, he did not know at the time that it would actually be her, although that was his ultimate dream.

Marcia's sole desire has been to bring happiness to Larry. He vividly recalls a moment one week after she had finally confessed her love to him wherein she lovingly implored him, "Teach me how to please you." Larry was left nearly speechless by her selfless request.

She has always been content to work shoulder-to-shoulder with him and even at times to be in the shadows as a loving and supportive wife. All that Larry has accomplished, the countless privileges he has enjoyed, and all of his successes, he rightly credits to God and to Marcia.

Contrary to what she had earlier believed, Marcia discovered that she actually held the upper hand in the relationship. Larry eagerly conformed to everything that she insisted on.

She only "insisted on" what was essential to sustain their relationship and maintain their strong love for each other, even reassessing his core values and beliefs. This included his atheism and his male chauvinistic attitude and viewpoint.

One of the qualities that Larry admired about Marcia was her "spunkiness." Despite being slightly taller than five feet and weighing less than ninety pounds, she is the only girl or woman that he dated that truly spoke her mind and stood up to him. She did it when they first dated in ’68 when she did not tolerate his underage drinking and exiled him for two years.

When they had difficulties in ’70 she stopped him in the hallway at UNCSA and stood nearly on his feet, looked up at him, and demanded that he call her after school. When he did she gave him a piece of her mind because he was being stubborn and unreasonable.

This quality was on display again in August ‘71 when he called to apologize after he had neglected to fulfill his promise and respond to her letters for nearly six months. Although she deeply loved him, Marcia did not simply forgive and forget, but left him “hanging” as he had done her.

Larry said that he did not know what to expect until that September. Also, when they began dating again and after they were engaged in ‘71 she courageously confronted him and spoke up when anything threatened their relationship or if he was doing something that she considered disrespectful.

Exclusivity in love means sacrificing a measure of personal freedom and things that you enjoy in some cases. Marcia began attending the rehearsals with the band that Larry performed professionally with. She accompanied Larry and the band on a two day road gig to several cities as well as most in town gigs at local venues. Although she liked a few of the guys in the group she was very disappointed in the behavior of some of the married men.

She also did not appreciate the attention that Larry got from women in the clubs where he performed. Larry was accustomed to it and mostly ignored them. Nevertheless, Marcia listened to a discussion of a group of women about him one night and became jealous and angry.

As a result of this situation, she started a custom of walking to the front of the stage during performances and motioning to Larry to lean over then she would give him a kiss, “marking her territory” and sending a message that he belonged to her

One day after a road trip she said that they needed to have another serious talk. Marcia gave Larry an ultimatum and said you have to choose between “me and your band”. That wasn’t much of a choice. He submitted his two week notice the next day and tried to assist in finding his replacement. He had performed with these fellows for years, some since thirteen or fourteen.

Some of them were good friends outside of their performing together and the money was good. All of the members attempted to dissuade him and to talk to Marcia.

Not only did Larry perform with them (their group featured a four-piece horn section) but was also paid as one of the group's arrangers, especially for complicated songs by groups such as "Chicago" (during his senior year in high school at NCSA they played most of the songs on this album when they were the house band at the Holiday Inn) and "Blood, Sweat, and Tears".

Their group was also playing on many college campuses for fraternities that were comprised of a mostly white fan base. Larry had to notate these songs on manuscript for the band to learn them due to their complex rhythmic and harmonic elements. Songs by Chicago such as "Make Me Smile", "25 Or 6 to 4", "To Be Free" were among the most requested.

Marcia was adamant and remained firm in her demand. She did not like his working environment, the temptations, and negative influences. She could not be with him on every trip to “mark her territory”.

Although she trusted Larry she realized that only a fool trusts one’s heart completely. Furthermore some of the “indiscretions” that he disclosed to her when they unburdened their hearts to each other after they were engaged, were committed on the road as well as in town after gigs.

The "older" woman that he dated in 1970 was a woman that he had met as a result of his playing with the band. Without saying, two weeks later he was out of a job but had more time to spend with Marcia and her mind and heart were at peace.

A year ago they spoke with a former band member who now performs with a famous gospel singer. He was speaking glowingly of Larry as "the baddest trombonist that he had ever heard. Man you could blow! We all hated it when Marcia made you quit."

He next asked if Marcia was still angry with them for attempting to pressure her to allow him to stay. Of course, she stated that after forty-one years all was forgiven and forgotten.

There was another instance a few weeks before their wedding. Larry was being rude and Marcia told him so and he corrected his actions and speech. Larry’s mom overheard the entire conversation and Larry’s humble apology. She and his stepfather laughed about it because they had never heard a girlfriend stand toe-to-toe with a boyfriend a foot taller and weighing nearly twice as much as she.

Marcia was always an exemplary young lady in speech and actions and this was the first time they had heard her correct Larry about anything. His mom told her the next day essentially, "You go girl!”

Larry's chauvinistic tendencies also required Marcia to occasionally remind him that she was intolerant of disrespect from him. He awakened her at three in the morning one Saturday after a gig, something that he usually did. This time however he asked her if she could cook. This was a week or so after they became engaged.

She told him, “Yes, I can cook. I have been cooking since I was twelve”. Larry said that cooking was something he had forgotten to ask her about. His stepmother was not a very good cook and he ate mostly TV dinners. He did not get a good home cooked meal except when he visited his brother and sister-in-law, despite having a fully stocked refrigerator in the family’s kitchen and in his den downstairs. Larry mentioned casually that he was very hungry. Luke was also with him.

This is revealing of how much she loved him and how eager she was to please. Marcia told him to come to her dorm and pick her up. When he arrived she still had rollers in her hair and said, "Boy, you know I really love you to be doing this!”

When they arrived at his home at four-thirty in the morning she prepared a meal befitting a king including fried country ham, eggs, grits, hash browns (not store bought) toast, coffee, and juice. Not only did it look perfect but the taste was unbelievably sumptuous. She sat and watched Larry eat and literally lick the plate.

He said, "Baby, I would marry you just for your cooking!” He thanked her repeatedly and gave her a long embrace and kiss. She was extremely proud that she had pleased him and forgot about how tired she was.

However, she displayed that spunkiness again when she felt that Larry was disrespecting her. Marcia did not mind cooking for Larry and Luke at all. After complimenting and kissing her he wanted to show off.  He began to be very demanding and somewhat rude in Luke’s presence.

After she had sweated over the stove and was in the process of cleaning up he “demanded” that she bring him a glass of milk. In fact, his exact wording was, "Woman, bring me a glass of milk!” Larry was also trying to impress Luke by demonstrating that he was the stereotypical chauvinistic “man of the house”. Marcia said, “Excuse me, what did you say?” He foolishly repeated it.

Marcia quickly poured the milk and brought it to him with a warm smile on her face. He got his milk alright, all over his face! Larry was so embarrassed and Luke was howling in laughter. When Luke picked himself off the floor he told Larry that he really owed "woman" an apology in between his laughter. Larry wiped himself off and immediately went to her to beg for her forgiveness. She kindly told him off and he never attempted such a stunt again, ever.




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