People I Want to Punch in the Throat

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Am I the Only One Who Thinks This Christmas Song is Rapey?



How is it in the 40-plus years I've been listening to Christmas music, I've never actually listened to it?

Let me explain: It was Black Friday. My mother and I were out and about maxing out our credit cards and throwing elbows for seven dollar waffle irons. After several hours of shopping, my mom faded and dropped out to go home to bed. Wussy.

Overachieving Elf on the Shelf Mommies



By now we have all heard of the adorable little Elf on the Shelf. Almost everyone I know has one.  Some people even have two!  (Now I'm having guilt for not having two, because apparently I need two because when my kids are adults they'll each want one from their childhood.  Ugh.  Not looking forward to that conversation with the Hubs when I tell him why we need another Elf.)

The Elf is a handy little thing to have.  The little bastard keeps my children in check this time of year.  When there is even a HINT of rebellion all I have to do is say, "Elf" and they snap back in line.

The Trouble with Ta-Tas


If you follow my personal page on Facebook, then you know I had a little trouble with my boobs last week. I know, I know. I'm always having trouble with my boobs, but this was a new, even for me. My friend Nicole invited me to a fancy gala. I'm usually in pajamas on a Saturday night, but there's something about Nicole that makes willing to put on not just pants, but a dress even, and leave my house. So I said yes when she asked me. But I needed to wear a dress. I didn't want to buy a new dress and I had a dress in my closet but it needs a special low cut bra. (Side note: when you're a woman with breasts of a certain size, you need some serious structure and a low cut bra never cuts it, so I don't buy that shit on the regular. Because of this, I didn't have the right bra in my bounty of boulder holders.) So, I trekked to the mall and tried on a trillion titty traps (haha, like there'd be a trillion to choose from. There are exactly two in my size). I got the right bra but when I put it on with the dress, it was like, "Oh shit! My eyes! So. Much. Cleavage!" Basically, my boobs were poking me in the chin. And my dress was screaming, "Mercy! Mercy! I can't take anymore!" and it was popping wide open for the world to giggle at my goodies.

I realized I just needed a little tape. How do the movie stars do it when they show just enough side boob, but not all of it? How do their nipples literally hold up a dress? I figured there must be magic tape out there! So I did a Google search and I came up with something called Hollywood Fashion Secrets Tape. Aha! I knew there was something! So I bought a tin of the tape.

Here's the thing about this tape. I'm sure it works great if you're just trying to keep a small gap in your shirt closed or if you want to keep your necklace in place or something simple and easy like that. But if you're working on an engineering project that requires a third hand, this is not the tape for you.

I was devastated. So I turned to the "real" Google, my Facebook friends. I asked them, "Is there such a thing as double-sided duck tape?"

After many suggestions that included things like "rubber glue" and "Velcro strips,"  a friend told me a secret: "I used to work in a bridal store and we gave brides rolls of double-sided carpet tape and called it 'dress tape.'"

WHAAAAAT??? That sounded like just the thing I needed, but I knew I'd need help, so I contacted my sister-in-law Ida.

Ida isn't an engineer or a fashion designer or anything like that, but Ida is the person I call when I need shit done, especially if it involves my boobs.

Wait. That didn't sound right. Maybe I should explain.

Let me take you back many, many, many years ago. Ugh, so many years ago. Remember how young we were, Ida?? It was my first time meeting Ida. In those days she was my brother's girlfriend and they were serious, but I didn't know yet she'd be my sister-in-law. I'd flown into town for a wedding and I'd tried to pack light. I thought one bra for the entire weekend would suffice. I'd forgotten that the dress I'd packed for the weekend required a special bra. The special bra would minimize (aka SQUEEEEZE) my boobs to smaller size and allow me to button the front of the dress. My normal bra was like, "Fuck that, I need my space" and would not allow the front of the dress to button.

And so I found myself locked in my brother's bathroom topless and panicking. I'd brought nothing else even remotely appropriate for a wedding. I didn't have time to run out to the nearest department store, get measured, and hope I'd find another bra that would wrangle my girls into submission. What the fuck was I going to do???

That's when I heard a gentle tap on the door. "Jen, everything okay?" Ida asked. "We need to go soon..."

"I'm coming..." I whimpered. "I just need a few minutes to, uhhh..." I looked around frantically, hoping I could MacGyver a solution. Like what? Make a bra out a bath towel and toothpaste?

"Jen?" Ida whispered. "You don't sound okay? What's going on? Can I help?"

At that moment I knew I needed help. I didn't have another solution. I couldn't ask my brother for help. (VOMIT.) I couldn't even ask the Hubs for help. He wasn't the Hubs yet. He was just some guy I was dating and I couldn't tell him all my secrets yet! Ida was my only hope.

Shamefaced, I unlocked the door and let her in.

"I can't do up my top," I cried. "I packed the wrong bra."

Ida surveyed the situation like a pro and did some quick calculations in her head. Finally, she nodded with certainty and asked, "Can I touch you? I'm going to have to touch you to help you."

"Just make sure your hands are warm," I said.

"I'll be right back." Ida went out the door and I heard her assuring the menfolk that we'd be ready soon. I heard her rummaging through cabinets and drawers.

When Ida came back she had a large roll of duck tape and a pair of scissors.

"Oh God," I whimpered.

"This will work," Ida reassured me. And then she went to work duck taping the shit out of my boobs.

You know those cartoons where people work so fast that clouds of dust puff up and you can't see what's happening and then the dirt clears and the transformation is revealed? That's how I felt that day. Ida worked fast and furious and then stepped back to admire her work. I looked in the mirror.

I'm not going to say they looked good. In fact, they were a little square and definitely off-center. BUT that dress buttoned up and that's what I needed.

We headed out. The Hubs gave my chest a funny look, but wisely did not comment.

It was close to ninety degrees that night and at one point I could feel sweat loosening the gum on the tape and I could feel tiny pings as the tape lost its grip. "Ida," I whispered. "I think I'm going to blow."

Ida shook her head. "A few layers might go, but you'll hold. And if you don't, I'm prepared." She opened her purse to show me the roll of tape and scissors tucked inside.

The tape held that night and Ida and I formed a bond that cannot be undone.

This week, almost 20 years later, she came to my rescue again, showing up at my house with double-sided carpet tape she'd found after scouring at least two hardware stores. I didn't need her hands on help this time, but it was nice to know I had her on speed dial in case I needed her to handle my hooters.

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