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The making of a marriage

April Clark

I just love it when my friends get married. That’s usually because I either fixed them up or was present when they first met.

My record at helping others find happiness is impeccable.

Two couples I helped set up in the mid-’90s are closing in on 20 years each of marital bliss. Each couple has two boys and beautiful lives, which technically makes me like an orchestrator of family creation. That might be taking it a bit far, but technically the theory has some validity. I like to think I have some kind of cupid-like intuition that brings two souls destined to be together in the same place.

Really, I just know how to throw a good party.

Ladies, a bit of dating advice, never offer to have a stranger’s baby the first time meeting him.

Many couples I’ve helped bring together — there really have been several — happened upon each when I knew each person separately. That’s back when everyone was single and I actually had a boyfriend.

Think Bizarro World on “Seinfeld.”

In one case, a friend married one of my co-workers at the paper. In another, a friend and roommate married a drummer I knew from the paper as arts editor. I was a bridesmaid in a wedding for a former co-worker who fell hard for the hot UPS guy who delivered packages to our work.

In short, the paper has brought many lovers together.

I can’t take all the credit for the latest couple of friends to exchange vows and pledge their undying love to each other. Although I can say my awkward pick-up line may have helped in a bizarre kind of way. Ladies, a bit of dating advice, never offer to have a stranger’s baby the first time meeting him.

Luckily he could take a joke.

Gus and Janelle, the happy couple married over the weekend, are two of my favorite people, and I couldn’t be happier that the universe brought them together. Their paths had crossed before, while they were each working out at the Glenwood Hot Springs Athletic Club. That’s the complete opposite of where I’ve ever met a guy. Maybe that’s some incentive to hit the gym.

I need some kind of motivation.

The night Gus and Janelle started talking, before they went on their first date, I strictly provided the comic relief. There were martinis. Janelle looked especially cute — she always does. And I asked Gus to father my children.

A minor detail.

That night, we all ended up having a fun time, laughing at my terrible pick-up lines and dancing into the wee hours. Janelle and I made new friends in Gus, his nephew and their friends, and I taught several strangers my swing dance moves. In the following months, Gus and Janelle developed a strong friendship that became the foundation for their relationship.

Now they’re newlyweds and, most importantly, best buddies.

Like any best friends who marry, and the lyrics to that one Fleetwood Mac song, Gus and Janelle make loving fun. They volunteer for and run the Mother’s Day Mile each year with Gus’ mom. They bike the Rio Grande Trail. They don’t miss the Tough Enough to Wear Pink Rodeo in Carbondale on a Thursday night in the summer.

I know for a fact Gus is tough enough to wear any color.

The fun loving doesn’t stop there. They raft through Glenwood Canyon — I remember that time we all had to go highside on the boat so we wouldn’t flip. Gus and Janelle tube on the Roaring Fork River in the Cruise-a-Thong fundraiser. He donates his time as an accountant for Organic Health Response, the nonprofit his childhood best friend, Chas Salmen, started to help the people of Mfangano Island in South Africa. Janelle has raised thousands for Glenwood community organizations including YouthZone in Glenwood’s Kiss-a-Pig contest. And she helps make the Miss Strawberry Days scholarship pageant happen each June. Gus and Janelle make volunteering, and loving, fun.

And they have the rest of their lives to do it together.

April E. Clark would like to thank Sweet ColoraDough for making donuts fun, especially for a bride and groom on their wedding morning. She can be reached at aprilelizabethclark@gmail.


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