There’s perhaps one person who could convince me I should wear an apron, though I didn’t see it coming. You see, I’m not the apron type, in part because I’m not the domestic type. Now by saying that, I don’t mean to imply that there’s one type that’s better than another. No, I mean to explain that I’m the one who prefers the barn boots and the cowpatties to the bibs and the casseroles. I’m more at home among a bunch of four-footed folks than I am in a kitchen full of domestic responsibility or a house brimming with duties to be done, and I sure can wade my way through a theological treatise or a Russian novel easier than a cookbook or a menu planner (Plan? A menu? You can?).
Until recently, aprons have always implied a way of life I’ve never even noticed, though I do appreciate it and admire it when I find those Madonnas capable of making the household sing in harmony (and I know plenty of them!). It’s been in meeting those very ladies, and seeing their dedication and joy, that I’ve started to wonder where my mindset came from. If they can have fun in the kitchen and around the house, surely I can too, right?
It’s not so different than my realization that living in this old farmhouse has to be a matter of my attitude. Yep, it has its faults. But it has its charm (reluctantly though I may add that sentence). I can focus on the half-empty – the bugs and the drafts and the never-ending repairs and the costs. Or I can focus on the half-full – the big yard and the tall windows and the high ceilings and the coziness.
Until this spunky cowgirl, whose fondness for organic material is not limited to the indoors, and who speaks to my soul with her witticisms and wisdom, suggested I wear an apron, I really hadn’t thought about it. But hey, if she can do it, maybe I need to rethink this whole aversion to aprons. If an apron is appealing, if it is representative of true femininity in a way that John Paul II explains so beautifully in Theology of the Body, if it is also a practical way for preserving your pants and shirts from the dangers of your hand-wiping tendencies, well, then, maybe I get myself an apron and try it out!
Maybe an apron is the perfect addition to the barn boots and cowpatties, and maybe it will give me new inspiration as I stumble along figuring out what this vocation of mine is all about. Maybe an apron is a tool I’ve been overlooking, a practical supplement to the gadgets and contraptions that fill my house.
I remember seeing my great-grandma’s old aprons, and like her quilts, they were a wonder of old-fashioned stitching and fabric-matching and pleating wonders. They were beautiful and practical and well-worn. What makes me scoff at an apparatus that generations of women put to good use? I am guilty of losing the wisdom and insight of my forbearers and of reinventing the wheel when I don’t have to.
So this farm girl is going to try an apron come May 14, in honor of National Wear an Apron Day. While I may not be able to make it myself (yet), I am going to get one somewhere (probably here, because there’s no denying the class and originality!).