Going back home sans the Maidenform bra

What’s the biggest lie you ever told?      

I’m talking “whopper” now. None of the “little white lies” kinda story. But one that would qualify as a bold-faced LIE!      

Mine was to an ex-girlfriend. Not a lie to hide I had been with another girl. Or why I forgot an anniversary or her birthday.      

I told Peggy McPeake I was a homosexual so that I would not have to go to bed with her. It was a lie. And I’m not. Not that here’s anything wrong with it. But, I couldn’t think of any other reason not to hurt her feelings.      

Oh, I wanted to “be with her.” She was one hot number. And I was turned on to her when I saw her more than 10 years after we had broken up, married others, and eventually divorced. We were both divorce-free, ready and able to consummate what we had wanted to do during the three to four years we dated, but refrained from doing.      

It just didn’t feel right.      

Before anyone starts to call me a “wuss,” and claim I should have pulled a “wham, bam, thank you ‘mam,” let me explain. It wasn’t the same at age 30 as it was at 14 through 17. She wasn’t someone I could treat as a “one-night” stand, walk away from, and forget about.      

She was the girl I “knew” I would marry one day. So sure of my self when I was a teenager. Everything was black and white, good or bad, them versus us. It took years to learn that opposites sides of a coin always merge at the edges. That many, if not most, of life’s decisions are made from a gray area.      

Peggy had two children. Both had been put to bed by the time I visited her at her house in the old neighborhood of Brewerytown, North Philadelphia. She had straightened up, but someone had poured leftover Cheerios into sinkful of dishwater, and I could not shake the image of little round oats floating around when we “made out” on the couch. 

Years later, it "felt" different

 Nor could I get use to the metal I felt around her bra. Had never “felt” one of those “uplifters” before that night, and thought perhaps it was a prosthetic device for some broken parts. It got in the way of truly “feeling” her, the way I remembered feeling her.        

Couldn’t get the thought of her kids sleeping nearby and possibly walking in on us. I wasn’t ready for another marriage at that moment, and that’s where this may have gone, should we have taken that next step.You combine all of this, plus the nagging belief we were not the same persons we were in the ’60s, not the same teenage couple, not of the same chemistry as before.      

And that’s when I decided to lie. Not only to let her down easily, but to “let myself up” from possibly making the mistake some believe they will never make. That you can go back home again. To become the same persons you were again.      

Too many things change. They mold us for better or worse, and while it would be so comforting to renew an old loving way of life, Destiny and Fate most always demand we seek our futures elsewhere.     

And that’s the truth, Peg. Can you understand it now?

15 comments on “Going back home sans the Maidenform bra

  1. Sarah says:

    I think there is more to this story. I’ll bet Peggy would tell a different story


  2. primassum says:

    Do you consider yourself a Buddhist?


    • contoveros says:

      I’m a student of Buddhism, accepting many of the teachings as a way of life for me. I follow a Buddhist path as much as I can, and feel my writings, on occasion, open a connection to others possibly suffering the same way I have suffered or still deal with on-going problems with desires and revulsions.

      I bow and ask for forgiveness for all the wrongs I commit each day. If I have offended you in anyway, I sincerely apologize this very moment.

      michael j


  3. For a split second I almost thought that you should have told her the absolute truth right then and there… (and was about to say so in the most un-reproachful way I could find)

    Then I thought about it a little more.

    I have been where you both were that night – only me just after having my first child and being recently separated from my husband (for what would become the first of many such attempts at separation from him over the years btw)

    Thing is – she probably knew you were lying and didn’t want to have to admit that you kissed differently than she remembered – or smelled differently – or that bits of you were harder or softer than she had once thought they were…

    In the end (and far from actually doing her a disservice) you probably just helped her to move away from her comfort zone and find the place she was looking for but couldn’t find in her desire to recapture the security of her past.

    So, in sharing what you said and in saying that you are ashamed for misleading her, perhaps you may also be able to consider that you only ended up doing the wrong thing for what may have turned out to be all the right reasons?



    • contoveros says:

      You are so right, but I was so young at the time. Not even into my third career change (still news reporting, with a slight interest in union work). I danced with Peggy at a neighborhood reunion 10 to 15 years after this episode. Wanted to spend more time with her, but I was into a new marriage. She was with a new boyfriend. Someday, I hope we will talk and laugh over this . . .


  4. tom says:

    Do you really call it a big lie? You think it’s big as what you told her was that you had been a homo? But in case, you don’t need a lie but simple words though or you can stay with her if it is ok. I just meant if ever she wanted it of coz;. You’d had a better way but not a wise one, I reckon.

    P.s: This is my first to your blog and I’d say “Thumbs up” 🙂


    • contoveros says:


      Had I had a little more courage, I might have simply told the truth. I wish I had it do over again. I would have shared so much of myself, and listened more to the unspoken words.

      You’re an artist. Would you have re-opened yourself and drawn a new sketch over one of your favorite old ones?


  5. thecodger says:

    I remember those “cone bras”. They were the pinnacle of sexual liberation in those days.

    The Codger


    • contoveros says:

      I thought the sexual revolution was when women burned their bras, not coned them up!

      How great it would be to go back in time and say the right things this time. May not have made a difference, with Fate already deciding the outcome. But, at least I’d have a clearer conscious and the truth would have prevailed one way or the other.

      michael j


  6. Phil says:

    The title was what reeled me in. The story kept me to the end.




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