In the last chapter, I tried to determine if Anna, our cleaning lady, had stolen my favorite bra, which disappeared shortly after I moved in with my Lady Friend. If you missed the first five chapters, you can read them on my web site: www.jenniferparello.com )
I continued to search for my bra for several weeks after it disappeared. Finally, I came to accept that it was gone for good.
Months passed. My Lady Friend and I settled into a comfortable relationship and I stopped resisting the confines of cohabitation. I even allowed some of my belongings to drift into our shared existence. When I first moved in I kept my things strictly segregated so it would be easier to collect them and make a hasty exit when the inevitable breakup occurred.
About a year after I moved in with my Lady Friend, we had a dinner party. That evening, I slipped into a new bra—one that I was grooming to be my new favorite bra. As I stood in front of the mirror, waxing poetic about how fetching my breasts looked in the bra, my Lady Friend said, 'I know you are very excited about your new bra, but let's not discuss it at dinner tonight.' She feared a mention of my new bra might touch off a discussion about my missing bra and she didn't want to rouse my dormant obsession.
However, the worst thing you can do to a person with an obsessive personality is to demand that they stop obsessing. Now that I was ordered not to discuss my bra, I could think of nothing else. I rushed our guests out the door immediately after dinner so I could once again search our bedroom for the bra.
Just as I was dumping the contents of the lingerie drawer on the floor, my Lady Friend marched into the bedroom. 'Do you really want to know what happened to your bra?,' she asked, her voice wavering on the verge of hysterics.
I stopped rooting through the underwear drawer and considered her question. 'Yes,' I said, finally. 'I think I would.'
My Lady Friend closed her eyes and took a deep breath. 'A couple weeks after you moved in, you left your clothes in the wash. I put them in the dryer. About a half hour later, I heard a terrible noise coming from the laundry room. Something was banging on the dryer like it wanted to come out. I opened the door and found a wet mound of clothes, all knotted up in your bra. The bra was destroyed, so I untangled it from the clothes and threw it out. You told me never to touch your laundry, so I had no intention of telling you that I ruined your bra.'
'I walked away from the trash thinking, 'Oh, she'll never notice. It's just a bra!''
'But then you came home and the first thing you mentioned was the bra. I was sure you were on to me, so I tried to throw you off the scent by suggesting that Anna stole the bra. Will you ever trust me again?'
The answer, of course, was no. But I wasn't going to tell her that. She was miserable enough as it was. And, although I didn't trust her, I did love her.
So I vowed not to mention the bra again if she promised never to put my bras in the dryer. And then we started rebuilding our relationship on a new foundation of affection, mutual respect, and excellent underwire support.