In the last episode, we learned that my favorite bra disappeared shortly after I moved in with my Lady Friend. If you missed the first chapter of this riveting whodunnit, you can read it on my web site: www.jenniferparello.com )
The morning after my favorite bra disappeared, I met Gregory at brunch to discuss the situation. I had spent hours searching for the bra and a sleepless night mentally retracing its last known movements. I was counting on Gregory to help me figure out what happened to it.
But Gregory wasn't interested in talking about my bra. Instead, he wanted to spend the morning obsessing about some fool he lured home from a bar the previous evening.
'He had the most magnificent set of nipples,' Gregory said, dreamily stirring sugar into his coffee. 'I think you can tell a lot about a person's character from their nipples.'
'Yes, I'm sure you can,' I said impatiently. 'Now, can we get back to my bra?'
'Oh, for God's sake! Just buy another bra,' he said.
I raised my hand to my chest in shock. I had long believed that gay men had a more meaningful connection with underwear than the rest of the population. Apparently, I was wrong.
'You can't simply replace your favorite bra with a new one,' I said. 'It's much more complicated than that.'
You need to live with a bra—weather some rough times together—before you can judge whether it's special. Does it simply punch the clock in the morning, hoisting up your breasts with indifference, counting the seconds until it is released at the end of the day and returned to the soft comforts of the lingerie drawer? Or is it a friend? Is it the type of bra that will work overtime on a first date, ensuring that when a strange new hand unbuttons your blouse it finds breasts just as firm and perky as they were in high school?
A favorite bra makes you feel as if you have your best friend strapped to your chest, only better! If you've ever tried to strap your best friend to your chest, you know what I mean. Best friends are rather lumpy and have a tendency to perspire when you wear them under a cashmere sweater. But a favorite bra will never let you down. It will silently stand by you, giving you far superior support than it was designed for.
At the time my favorite bra came into my life, I was still recovering from the loss of another favorite bra. That bra had grown limp from overuse and I had to put it out of its misery. It taught me an important lesson about rationing the powers of a special bra.
Like Superman's cape, a favorite bra should be reserved for special occasions when you need an extra boost. The temptation is to wear it around the clock, but that will only exhaust its magic. The last time I wore my favorite bra was to an out-of-town bridge tournament where my bridge partner and I were pitted against our arch-enemies, Sal and Leon, who I was beginning to suspect played a role in the disappearance of my bra.
Next time-Chapter 3: The list of suspects grows
( Do you know what happened to my bra? Send your theory to email@example.com . If you guess correctly before the last chapter in this saga, I'll send you an excellent prize. )