The Apron

The Apron

I dearly love aprons. There's a side of me that swoons when I picture donning a ruffly-edged, circa-1950's tie back apron. I imagine myself in heels and red lipstick; my apron protecting that pleated skirt, cinched at the waist. Greeting my guests as they walk in the door with a long stem glass of red wine and the aroma of apple pie wafting through the door.

1950s housewife

My 93-year-old grandmother recently moved downstairs in her building to receive full-time memory care. My mom and her siblings had to downsize her one bedroom into a studio and began to sort through keepsakes she no longer had a place for. I called dibs on any aprons. My mom arrived at my house with a pile of ruffled love. "Are you sure she won't need them?", I asked in hesitation. My mom smiled, "Oh, sweetie. The ovens aren't even plugged in down in memory care." I smoothed my hands over the soft fabric, replete with stains and memories. How I loved arriving at my grandparents house to see her in one of these, pulling something out of the oven and embracing sticky grandkids.

Yet the older I get, the more sensitive I am to outdated gender roles. My love of aprons has nothing to do with being sequestered to the kitchen, assumedly in charge of the entirety of the cooking- given my femaleness- but instead more about my love of tradition, cooking, and (if I'm being fully honest) protecting my clothes from the inevitable clumsy culinary shenanigans.

So I am spearheading a new movement; the comeback of the apron. Free of any antiquated gender roles and expectations, and full of new tradition and love.

* Aprons will be for protection from tiny fingers full of Nutella and ketchup, because hugs sometimes can't wait.

* Aprons boost confidence; looking like you know how to make a souffle is half the battle. And pulling off a rack of ribs from the grill needs protective armor.

* Aprons catch tears, comforting the hurt ones, the excluded ones, and the ones who have yet to find their voice.

* Aprons connect us to those we love; soft, worn materials that remember Thanksgivings and family nights of years ago.

So don't be surprised to see me in one the next time I have you over. I'll sweep you in the door and hand you a glass of wine.  And we'll sit and chat while our spouses make dinner.

No Comments