I was folding clothes on the table with the help of my granddaugher, Elsa. She was about 4 at the time and quite the little pal. We got to the bras and Elsa commented that they were bras. I confirmed that yes, the items we were folding were bras.
"I LIKE gray." she announced, with innocent firm conviction.
That's when I realized that they were all gray. Bras cannot be bleached without losing their elasticity, so the older they get the grayer they get. Beige, fleshtoned, white, and even pastels inevitably become gray, no matter how well you care for them. I've always hung them to dry instead of using the dryer, which prolongs bra life for many years. Soon after this incident I made a trip to the mall to aquire some fresh bras, but it stuck in my mind.
I realized that the gray bras are perfectly servicable veterans of a long and useful career. There is nothing shameful in their grayness and I have continued using them and noting that as time passes they eventually have begun developing defects that have affected their usefullness and precipitated their disposal. The new bras have begun their conversion to gray and are gradually replacing the veterans as they naturally fall apart under use.
The gray bras could have all been pitched and replaced, but somehow it didn't seem like an honest and upright thing for me to do. They had served me well and didn't deserve to be thrown out. Outside of their honorably aquired dinginess, they were perfectly useful and I've let them live out their lives as nature intended.
There's a lesson in here somewhere, if you can only find it.