Marland Monday: In Spite of Ourselves

Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons
4 min readMar 14, 2022

Oh my! Is it Monday again? That means it’s…
Marland Monday!

You know the drill, I remember the career of Douglas Marland, one of the best writers in the soap opera genre. Today we’re going to remember an unlikely event that happened thirty-five years ago this week. Put down what you’re doing and come with me!

First off, some background: On As the World Turns, Lucinda Walsh (Elizabeth Hubbard), and Dr. John Dixon (Larry Bryggman) hated each other. Man, they hated each other. He told Sierra (Finn Carter) Lucinda was not a “friend” of Sierra’s mother, but actually her bio mother. She hid James Stenbeck (who once tried to kill John) and didn’t tell anyone James’ whereabouts. It didn’t help much that Dusty Donovan and Lucinda’s daughter Lily were best friends, so they had to socialize with each other. Then after John was involved in a big scandal that could’ve ruined his career, Lucinda had the power to fire him. She didn’t, But it didn’t stop her from sending a reporter (Lucinda owned of the newspapers in Oakdale called City Times) to ask questions about John’s scandal to John’s son Andy at school. Man, typing that sentence makes me think “Oh, yuck.”

This brings us to March 20, 1987. John stormed into Lucinda’s sacred place, her salle de bains, her bathroom. It had a hot tub, palm trees, the whole deal. “You’ve hit an all-time low!” John yelled. Lucinda was only covered in a sheet after having a massage, telling John “If you want to talk to me, you make an appointment with my secretary!” John kept going, saying “What are you looking for? The award for the slimiest, the most underhanded of journalistic reporting? You win it!” Oh, he also mentioned the TV station she owned calling it “silly hicktown television station.” She protested, saying “Why are you in my private bath?”

Someone’s in the hot tub with John Dixon!

“This place is as private as Grand Central Station!” Okay, he had a point. Lucinda liked to entertain her lovers in the bathroom, including Craig Montgomery (Scott Bryce) who was really in love with Sierra. Yes, it’s a soap opera.
They bickered some more, then he started to perform comic karate moves. She decided to push him into the hot tub. I later read Hubbard suggested this, and it’s wonderful. They continued to bicker, then he grabbed Lucinda into the hot tub with him. The two looked at each other in silence.

The rest of the episode was Brian McColl getting married to Beatrice (Mark Pinter was leaving the show) then going on their honeymoon. Emma Snyder (Kathleen Widdowes) had been dating John but broke up with him two months before. After a pep talk from her daughter Iva, she decided to go and tell him she did have feelings for him. She went to his penthouse and found him in a robe. He looked nervous. She was nervous too, trying to tell him she believed him (this is related to his work scandal) Then we hear “John!”
It’s Lucinda, tying a sash around her bathrobe. After greeting Emma, Lucinda told John “We’re going to make sure women aren’t barging in here in the middle of the night. Because I’m now the honorable Mrs. John Dixon!”

In spite of themselves, they’re the grand door prize.

Closeup of Emma’s face hurt and humiliated.

We later found out the wacky kids decided they didn’t hate each other, they were in love. They frolicked to the Walsh jet, went to Las Vegas, got married, frolicked back to the jet, then pranced back to Oakdale. Was it a good match? In some ways, yes. They were so alike in wanting to control people, situations. It had to be their way or else. They were fantastic at their jobs (John was a cardiologist, Lucinda CEO of Walsh Enterprises) They both loved their children (John had three, Lucinda had two daughters) In John Prine’s words: In spite of ourselves/We’ll end up a-sittin’ on a rainbow. Against all odds. Was it a healthy match? Well, no. A healthy match would’ve been John been with Emma. But that would’ve been boring. John would have to be “good.” With Lucinda, he didn’t have to be good. He could be himself.

They broke up in 1991 (Lucinda did some mean things to John’s recently discovered son Duke) but stayed close friends. Bryggman left the show in 2004, but due to Hubbard’s insistence, came back for the final episodes of the show. John and Lucinda reunited and it looked like they were going to travel the world together. In spite of themselves, they were in love.

Ladies and gentlemen, Dr. and Mrs. John Dixon

Real quick: A lot is going on in my life right now-some things I can’t talk about yet. Yes, I’m VagueMediuming, but it will make sense soon. Marland Monday might not happen next week; will know better in the next couple of days. Until then, be good and remember don’t even try to interview John Dixon’s son. You might end up in a hot tub.