My Brassier Hunt:

An Excerpt from John Cowart’s Journal:


John W. Cowart

Thursday,  September 5,  2002

Yesterday, as Gin & I walked to the bus this morning, we discovered a huge pile of clothes and shoes deposited at curbside where some people have moved out around the corner. I walked back with my wheelbarrow and collected these items for the Lord’s Store mission. Why let perfectly good shoes and cloths (we’re talking Calvin Kline, Air Jordan, Nike, Oshgosh, etc) be trashed when poor people need them.

I don’t know if my being a Christian with a modicum of compassion for the poor has anything to do with my actions or whether it’s just my conditioning for ecology that makes me hate to see things wasted. I’d like to think there is some love for Christ involved though I doubt it. Anyhow, I collected all I could salvage from the trash (Isn’t the biblical term “gleaners” so much nicer than “rag-picking dumpster diver” or “bag lady”?), wheeled them home and spent today washing clothes for the poor – who are always with you and are always a pain in the ass….

.Monday,  September 9,  2002

Gin off to work.

Donald off to his class.

Me, I went on a brassier hunt.

When I did the washing last week to take all those clothes we’d collected to the mission, I laundered some of our own clothes along with the ones for the poor.

Now for the past 35 years Ginny has worn a favorite bikini for swimming now and then. She’s pleased that she still fits into it (mostly) as well as she did when we first married. Of course over the years the swimsuit has stretched a little but then so has she. Well, Saturday Ginny discovered that I’d inadvertently sent to the mission the top of her two-piece swimsuit! I had not been paying attention and packed the bikini top into one of the white plastic garbage bags with the other clothes. This did not thrill her…. So, this morning I drove back to the mission (with another car full of goodies we decided to donate while cleaning up this weekend).

I carried the bikini bottom with me so I could be sure to match the material with the right bra.

At the mission I had the joy of explaining to the manager lady on duty, one I’d only met once before, that I wanted to dig through the dozens of bags of donated clothes, especially lady’s underwear, to recover a blue brassier with white stars on it.

I’m such a dignified Christian gentleman that I’m sure she hardly thought I was a pervert at all.

Of course our conversation had to take place in the middle of the floor, me standing there with a bikini bottom in my hand,  where a dozen or so other women, helpers and clients, listened in. Those other ladies worked hard at stifling giggles as they overheard my explanation…. And I gained the status of an international buffoon as one client translated the situation into Spanish for the benefit of another lady who spoke no English at all.

I’m not sure what exactly was relayed in Spanish, but that lady too tried not to snicker at the guy who’d given away his wife’s bra and now wanted it back.

Maybe it’s a cross cultural thing.

Why does the Lord let me get into situations like this? Doesn’t he have any regard for my dignity:?

Anyhow, Friday’s donations had not been sorted and put on the floor yet. Over the weekend workers had piled heaps of  donated white plastic garbage bags full of ladies’ dainties in the storage and sorting area. Many of the ladies there watched without laughing -- or even choking trying not to  -- as I  searched bags full of negligees, sweaters, coats, robes and panties till I did finally find the missing bra.

I have returned it to it’s rightful tits.

That pretty much sums up my day.

Come to think of it, that pretty much sums up my life.

Tonight Gin & I attended our Neighborhood Watch meeting where a cop explained how to burglarize a home with sliding glass doors by using a toilet plunger to lift the glass door out of its metal track even when it’s locked and barred. How educational. We also learned that if you spray a lock with canned freon  made to recharge a car’s air conditioning system, the lock freezes and shatters with a tap of a hammer. Good stuff to know.


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