smotherly love: a seasonal tale

smotherly love // movita beaucoup

Let me preface this anecdote by telling you that my mother, Rosie Beaucoup, adores 2.0. As in: worships at the altar of his awesomeness. So Rosie couldn’t be happier that 2.0 has come into my her life, but for a time she worshipped at another altar: the Altar of David Humphreys.

Growing up, I had a close-knit circle of friends. We did everything together, and I spent a good many hours in their homes. And it was in one of those homes that Rosie Beaucoup found David Humphreys.

David Humphreys was the older brother of my friend Susan — he was two years ahead of us in school. I don’t know how it was when/where you grew up, but in my town? Two years was the San Andreas Fault of divides. I would never have even considered talking to someone who was cool enough to have been born two years before me.

David was one of the nicest boys in town, and treated all of Susan’s friends like they were real, live human beings despite the fact that he was older than us, cooler than us, AND played sports. (Boys who play sports in small, rural high schools are untouchable.)

Because Rosie appreciated his civility and athletic abilities, she decided that I should probably marry David Humphreys.

smotherly love // movita beaucoup

Every December I was invited to the Humphreys’ house to help decorate their Christmas tree. They took pity on me because I wasn’t allowed to touch the tree at my own house. My mother was Martha Stewart before Martha Stewart was Martha Stewart. Rosie’s magazine-worthy Christmas tree was trimmed to perfection. Hours were spent making sure every single light and each carefully selected ornament was hung perfectly, and there was no way she was going to let her kids destroy it.

Things were different at the Humphreys’ house. You could put ornaments wherever you wanted! Colour balance and theme weren’t even considered. Glittery garlands and popsicle stick artwork were featured prominently. Handfuls of tinsel were tossed haphazardly into every nook and cranny of the tree. Branches hung heavy under the weight of over-sized ornaments and lights.

Though Rosie Beaucoup understood the rules of pulling together the perfect Christmas tree, she did not understand the Rules of High School, and even if she did, she probably wouldn’t have played by them. So my tenth grade self shouldn’t have been surprised when I arrived at the Humphreys’ house for tree decorating and found my school photo in a heart-shaped frame sitting on their coffee table. Right between a punch bowl filled with eggnog and a plate stacked with garishly decorated Christmas cookies.

smotherly love // movita beaucoup

I grabbed Susan by the arm and pulled her into the dining room. “Where did that photo come from?” I moaned. “And why is it on your coffee table?”

Susan smiled. “Your mother gave it to my brother for Christmas.”

Kill me now.

My mother had gifted David Humphreys my school photo in a heart-shaped frame. She delivered it to his house without ever mentioning it to me. It was, according to Mrs. Humphreys, beautifully wrapped in hand-stamped Christmas paper and topped with one of the most beautiful bows she had ever seen.

As I hung a play-dough ornament on the tree, it occurred to me that all of David’s A-list, older-than-me high school friends would have seen my photo on that coffee table. That the entire senior boys basketball team was probably staring at my forest-themed school photo (in a heart-shaped frame) as they sat around watching television and discussing who to take to senior prom and the Annual Steer BBQ & Village Fair.

News alert: school photos don’t do a lot to up teen curb appeal.

smotherly love // movita beaucoup

Of course, David Humphreys insisted it was one of the nicest gifts he had ever received. Which is exactly the sort of bullshit that encouraged my mother in the first place, David.





  1. sublimedelights on February 2, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    oh I love your Mom for trying to organize that… bold for sure! Haha that is wonderful. I know cringe worthy … but that is sometimes what Mom’s do. Hilarious about your Christmas Tree perfection.

    • movita beaucoup on February 2, 2018 at 8:12 pm

      My mother was, indeed, bold. Of course, it’s just because she wanted us to be happy!

  2. Doug Martyn on February 2, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Greetings and Brava, for a great story!

    I too at age 15 had a teenage, hormone driven crush on a girl one year ahead of me in school; a beautiful brunette with a sweet smile, much like the photo you posted in your story. In my experience, maybe just a bit analogous to yours (????) my dream-girl, while friendly and occasionally a flirt, always considered the one-year age difference just too much for a high school romance.

    My saving grace was when (New Years Eve my sophomore year) she stopped by to say hey, and we ended up in a make-out-session that left me waxing poetically for days.

    What I would have given for that “hottie” photo in a heart frame you spoke of.

    Thanks for the memories, Rachael!


    • movita beaucoup on February 2, 2018 at 8:16 pm

      You are most welcome, Doug! David and I still laugh about the photo when I see him on occasion. He did end up getting married to a lovely woman – not me – and 2.0 went to the wedding with me! Funny how in high school a year or two seemed like such a big age difference, and now I don’t think anything of a 10-20 year age difference in couples.

      Actually, now I’m wondering if 2.0 should expect a framed present from my mother one day…

  3. Stacy on February 2, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    Your mother is too much! I would have loved to have seen your face when you saw the framed photo. Hysterical! And I am so glad for your response to Doug. I was just going to ask whatever happened to David. Sounds like it turned out the right way for everyone, even Rosie.

    • movita beaucoup on February 3, 2018 at 8:53 am


  4. Karen on February 2, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    OMG I would have died!

    P.S. In my house, my mother had 6 (SIX) Christmas trees, each with color coordinated ornaments, (each tree had it’s own color theme) and no room for any margarine tub lid felt with glitter hole punched ornaments that we made in school. As you can see, I’ve been “scarred for life.” To this day, I’m not much of a Christmas decorator, but I still hang every hand made ornament my kids made in grade school on our tree =)

    • movita beaucoup on February 3, 2018 at 8:43 am

      My sister-in-law has 3-4 trees every year. Each is perfectly decorated and usually has a theme. She makes our house look like a Christmas prison in comparison.

  5. Eggton on February 2, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    First of all, not to sound like your mom but you like like a brunette Ginger Rogers in this photo.

    Second, let’s please hear more about the set-up on school picture day. Because it looks like they took you one by one into the forest which in this day and age honestly rings a little creepy. You can tell they were legit school photographers, though, because that blur job on the tree stump could only have been done by a goddamn professional.

    Xo miss you!

    • movita beaucoup on February 3, 2018 at 8:41 am

      This may explain my tenuous relationship with nature.

      And yes, photographers in those days were legit. LEGIT.

  6. thatskinnychickcanbake on February 4, 2018 at 6:32 am

    Oh, my gosh. I would have died a thousand deaths. But it does make a hilarious story years later.

    • movita beaucoup on February 4, 2018 at 1:32 pm

      My family is nothing if not entertaining!

  7. Lynne on February 7, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Ha! Reminds me of the time I forgot my brown bag lunch when I boarded the bus to my high school. No worries! My mother met the bus at a further stop – just to HAND ME MY LUNCH BAG!!!! With a bus full of teens to witness this.

    I just died of embarrassment.

    Btw, I think you look terrific in that (very professional) photo. I think Rosie Beaucoup owes a copy to 2.0!

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