A Love Story.

East Meets West

By Gloria Hayes

I usually never read the Classified section of the newspaper because of no time or interest but on this particular day, it seemed like the newspaper just opened up to that page, for my eyes to peer down on this ad.

I’m presently 26 years old, have had many short and long-term relationships with young men over the years.

In fact, had three young men propose to me. In the Anglo-Indian community I grew up in, I was very well known since I had three older brothers, and therefore, had every chance to meet many boys. 

I was living with my parents. My mother was ill and going through depression so, I took it upon myself to help her in every way I could. Two months prior, I was in a long-term relationship and was trying to get out of it so, I gave the guy this excuse:

 "My mother is sick and I need to spend every waking moment with her till she improves, and therefore, I won't be able to see you. I think it will be good for us to take a break since I need to focus on my mother." Saying this, I terminated the relationship.

So, at this stage in my life when reading the ad in the paper, I was unattached, single and a carefree young woman.

Just for the heck of it and to put my creative writing skills to work, I decided to respond to the ad and this is what I wrote:

"Dearest Larry:

Being given to understand that the post of a Lover has fallen vacant in your heart, I beg to offer myself as a candidate for the same.

As regards my educational qualifications, I beg

to state that I have passed the Bachelor of Tactics and Master of Loveology of the University of Sexology in the 1st Class, taking Lovemaking as my main subject.

As for my previous experience, I beg to state that I have loved more than a hundred men of high grace and reputation, having given entire satisfaction in the discharge of my duties, such as embracing, kissing and other more difficult tasks as assigned to me.  


But now I reject them all for you, seeing better prospects! I am a gal of twenty six-and-a-half years of age and possess a sound physique capable of satisfying any brokenhearted man.

Should you, please, give me a chance, I assure you that I will do my very best to appease you in all the ways you suggest.

I beg to remain, Darling,

Your would-be-Lover,


Larry Hayes responds immediately to me; says he was pleasantly shocked to read my resume and would be in Madras in two weeks when he would like to meet me and encloses a photo of himself.

First Time We See Each Other

Larry arrives in Madras and we meet over dinner dancing on a Saturday evening; we do not spend the night together. Larry spends the night in his hotel and I go back to my parents home. The next morning Larry had to travel back to his base.

Turns out that Larry was planning to attend graduate school at Syracuse University and do a paper on: The Differences Between Women of The East And West. So asked me to write to him regularly so that he could gather as much information from me as possible for his paper and I agreed.    

From here on, we started writing regularly to each other. And as the days went by, the writing grew more intense and more personal, and I began to wonder at times if this had anything to do with his proposed paper.


However, at the same time, I realized that I was able to grasp the general nature, character and essential qualities of Larry Hayes through these written communications. Much more than I had come to know in some of my ex-boyfriends.  

Our First Date

Larry again gets a chance to visit Madras and we arrange to have a date--our very first date—on a Saturday night. We do not spend the night together. Again, the next morning, he has to travel back to his team.

Our next meeting was on two months later. Larry arrives in Madras. We meet, have dinner, then go

out to the beach where at the stroke of 12 midnight, he kisses me, pulls out a ring and asks me to marry him.  

I was shocked and flabbergasted. I was so stunned. I could not talk. I did like Larry a lot but had absolutely no thoughts of falling in love with him or entering into a long-term relationship since I knew he was to be in India for only a few more months.  

So, when he put the question to me, I was shocked and very confused. I just sat there dumbfounded.  

Thoughts of marrying him meant so many changes for me:

• I, a Catholic, and he not.

• I had not told my parents or the rest of my family about our relationship since I only had one date with him so, what would they say?

• Leaving my family, friends and everything I have grown up with.

• Going to a country (USA) that was foreign to me.

• Becoming part of his family and being accepted by them.

• And above all, I knew Larry for only five weeks and actually spent only three evenings with him.

Minutes later, as I realized the seriousness of his question, and with all the above thoughts running through my head, I considered stalling for time so, I answered him by changing the subject.

When I started to say something about a book I read,

Larry immediately stopped me and said:


“I asked you if you would marry me if you would be my wife. I'm not prepared to talk to you about anything else unless you answer me "Yes", "No"

or "Maybe".

As soon as he said this, something or someone inside of me was saying to me, loud and clearly:

Say yes, Say yes, this is your man, this is who you will marry and spend the rest of your life with.

Instantly, all the other fearful thoughts were wiped away from my mind and all I could repeatedly hear were the words: 


Say Yes, Say Yes  


And I felt that if I didn't say yes, this someone or something was going to blow my head off. 

So at this point, I really got scared because this force in me was so powerful that I yelled out:


Yes, Yes, I Will Marry You.

I Will Be Your Wife

Of course, after this Larry was very relieved and we talked for a long time into the wee hours of the morning.

When I told Larry about what I experienced. That there was this someone or something that told me loud and clear to say yes for this is the man I was going to marry, Larry then related to me the experience that he went through when he first set

his eyes on me:

When we met for the first time, and formally introduced ourselves, Larry said at that very moment, he felt love-at-first-sight and someone or something inside of him told him this is the woman who will be your wife. Don't let her get away from you.

And he didn't!

Larry's Peace Corps assignment concluded a few months later and we got married on February 24, 1968, in Madras. We left the country immediately for a three week honeymoon in Athens, Madrid, Paris and Rome before arriving in the United States to live temporarily with Larry's parents in Newton, Kansas.  


I got to meet and know many of Larry’s relatives who were living in Kansas and also experienced life in the Midwest. After five months, we left for Syracuse University for Larry to start school in the fall of 1968.

By the way, Larry did his graduate studies at Syracuse University and got an "A" on his paper titled: “The Differences Between Women Of The East And West.”

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