Holding it All Together with Duct Tape

So for my first post I thought it was best to bring back an oldie but goodie – if you’ve seen my show “It Runs in the Family” then you’ve seen this one performed live. Others might have read this on a previous blog – but if not – here it is

About seven years ago when I was working for a wonderful organization doing great work with fantastic people I was busy trying to prove myself and create a foothold. I always said yes to new projects, stayed late, tried to have new and innovative ideas, and I never knew if any of it was working. Everyone was very experienced, intelligent, and just generally intimidating. Even though it doesn’t sound like it, I really loved it there and wanted to prove my worth as we so often do in a new environment.

Just as we were entering into the big advocacy season right before the General Assembly was to convene I was coordinating meetings and trying to get people involved in the process of self-advocacy. This was very important to everyone in the department and for everyone we served. And I was the new kid.

Well the morning of this particularly big meeting I felt it was important for me to look very professional. Most of the time we were a pretty casual office – although not without some real fashionistas for sure – but on that day I dressed-up. I had recently bought some new clothes that I was very excited about as is generally the case with new clothes (you hope). So I decided on a particularly fabulous pair of black slacks that made my legs look super long and my butt look small(er). I paired with it a blouse that had a really cool fleur de lis type print. The choice was made and this was what I was wearing. The only problem was (men hold your ears) my bra choices for this particular shirt were limited because they were all lace which created lines on the shirt. Not good.

The only bra I had that didn’t do this was one that was a few years old and from before I was a mother of two (at the time) who breastfed and had some understandable weight fluctuations. The mothers know what I’m talking about and everyone else can guess. So in a fit of desperation I put the thing on, went down to the tool box, pulled out the duct tape, and taped those suckers up. Yes, I did it and you would have too. All day long the girls stood at attention. I felt like a million bucks with my new clothes, my important meeting that evening, and my very perky boobs.
The day wore on and it came time to set up for the “event”. So I pulled out all the supplies, handouts, refreshments, and loaded them onto a cart. But first there was a stack of stuff that I had to carry upstairs to the room we were to use for the night. I got onto the elevator carrying all my stuff in front of me and met up with two of the women in my department. They rode up with me and we were talking about the day when all of a sudden one of them got a strange look on her face and said in a voice that I felt was extremely loud – “Do you have duct tape on your boobs?!?”
I look down to see that my shirt had come undone from the pile that I was carrying and there they were for all to see. I only vaguely recollect what happened next as it is shrouded in a veil of humiliation. I blushed vigorously, explained that I obviously needed to go bra shopping, all while frantically buttoning my shirt and carrying a 6″ stack of papers.

My co-worker, whom I have since become very good friends with stated “Now that brings new meaning to holding it all together with duct tape”
I was the butt of many a joke and snicker that night from those two women with whom I had shared the elevator. But the meeting went very well. I proved my worth and my vulnerability all at once. The next day a select few dropped by my office to share a light jab that in the end made me feel more like a part of the team. A few weeks later, on my 30th birthday, I arrived to find my entire office covered in duct tape. I laughed all day.

I find that so much of my life has been spent trying to look like I’ve got it all together and often I do appear that way – but whether literally or figuratively – so often I really am just holding it all together with duct tape. But I haven’t done that again and I did pay Victoria’s Secret a visit very soon after this incident. Just in case you were wondering.
Good night friends.


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