Martin Luther King Jr. met a number of girls in Boston as a student at Boston University, but he never met a girl that he was particularly fond of. On the point of cynicism, Martin called a friend and asked, “Do you know any nice, attractive young ladies?” He received Coretta’s number from his friend and left the following message for Coretta: “This is M. L. King, Jr. A mutual friend of ours told me about you and gave me your telephone number. She said some very wonderful things about you, and I’d like very much to meet you and talk to you.”
They met and talked for awhile. Then Martin said: “You know, every Napoleon has his Waterloo. I’m like Napoleon. I’m at my Waterloo, and I’m on my knees. I’d like to meet you and talk some more. Perhaps we could have lunch tomorrow or something like that.” Coretta agreed, and Martin said: “I’ll come over and pick you up. I have a green Chevy that usually takes ten minutes to make the trip from B.U., but tomorrow I’ll do it in seven.”
At lunch, they conversed in depth about things other than music, Coretta’s field of study at the New England Conservatory of Music. Then Martin said, “So you can do something else besides sing? You’ve got a good mind also. You have everything I ever wanted in a woman. We ought to get married someday.”
This is a cute love story. It’s especially sweet since it demands a democracy of King that we rarely allow. I like that he was so bold. I’m not saying we get to choose our spouses, but King knew what he wanted in a spouse because he knew what he wanted to accomplish in life. Coretta couldn’t be the sort of wife to hide behind a man (not that any wife should). She had to be doubly as strong and doubly as determined as Martin. Alongside every historical man is a strong woman. King said that he and Coretta went down their path in life together — he didn’t lead her.
If I am blessed with the institution of marriage, I cannot wait for my Coretta. Otherwise, I will continue to be blessed and to be a blessing as a single man.
(originally written for my tumblr)