Amber Eubanks and Joshua Riviera
These days, wise people frown upon marriage for the young. A young person is expected to find her purpose in life and wade through countless Mr.Wrongs before treading the petal-bedecked pathway to marital bliss. And these wise folk are somewhat right, mes amis. After all, the decision-making skills of seventeen year olds usually lead to such things as car crashes on Old Wadsworth and "Girls Gone Wild" videos.
However, let me say at once that Amber Eubanks and Josh Riviera are cut from a different bolt of fabric altogether. Indeed, let me proclaim, mes amis, that they are the premium fine-wale baby corduroy while most of the other kids are your basic calico. These two have understood their destiny since they were both wee little bonbons. Mrs. June Eubanks, Amber's mother, remembers it this way, "The two of them would pick dandelions in the backyard and march around humming 'Pachelbel's Canon'." Amber's older brother, Brian, was also present at these ceremonies, although with ulterior motives. "I was always hoping for cake, but the most we got were Pecan Sandies and milk."
Despite these somewhat embarrassing nuptials, Ms. Eubanks and Mr. Riviera remained friends through the pitfalls of middle school, although they did not become a steady couple until their sophomore year at Arvada High. "I had a really hard time when my grandmother passed away," recalls Ms. Eubanks, "and Josh was right there for me. I mean my other friends were there for me, but Josh was there there for me. He even offered to bake me my grandmother's butterscotch tam o' shanters, if it would help me miss Mimi less."
"I'm a disaster in the kitchen," admits this slender and dark-eyed young man, "I burn cold cereal. But I just love Amber so much, I'd do my best to bake those cookies if it would make her smile." After graduating with the class of 2006, the two young people could not bear to be parted, and they determined to be married as soon as possible. Of course, this decision did not sit with the elders in the Eubanks and Riviera tribes. They envisioned college, jobs, travel for their bright young things; teenage weddings were supposed to be for the desperate or dead-end, no? Sacre bleu, what was the hurry? There was not even a bonbon in the oven, for heaven's sakes!
After the two youngsters presented their case at a very emotional dinner at a local Italian eatery, the families arrived at an agreement. If Ms. Eubanks and Mr. Riviera could prove that getting married would not hinder their prospects in any way, then they could be husband and wife. A trial period ensued. Both the bride and groom had been accepted to Colorado State University and began classes in the fall. They also found jobs to pay their way and a tiny apartment.
"Our first semester was exhausting, and we had no closet space, but we did it," beamed Ms. Eubanks. "Not even wedding planning could distract me from my chemistry final." Wedding planning, indeed. Ms. Eubanks wisely contacted Ms. Suzette Strauss, our local Crafts Crisis Hotline counselor and co-chair of the Make Arvada Elegant committee, to handle the dirty work. "She gave me the vision, and I did my best to realize it on a budget," says our own recently married Suzette.
The wedding day arrived, with bitter winds from the mountains, but the warmth of the crowd made up for the icy weather outside. Some of the older gentlemen even wore enormous furry hats indoors. The reception hall was decorated with dramatic sprays of pomegranates, roses and laurel boughs; guest waved red and gold ribbons to celebrate this union. The result was elegant, yet cozy, and everyone went wild for the mango shrimp.
"This is the event of the year!" declared one enthusiastic gentleman in an enormous furry hat. "This Jose and Amy, fine young people, they!" His jocularity triggered loud squeaking from the other elderly gentlemen in the room. I was puzzled, until I consulted some of the other guests and found that this is a longstanding Arvada tradition.
I, of course, am not one to quibble with venerable tradition. Therefore, I also squeak in honor of this promising young couple, and I encourage you to squeak also.