After your funeral, do you think your granddaughter will bury her face in your professional-looking briefcase or in your treasured apron? When a woman puts on an apron, it makes no less of a statement than a fine leather briefcase. It announces she is on duty to be receptive to whatever happens in her home and everyone that encompasses. And that is a wider sphere of influence than many would allow.
An apron is like a uniform that conveys authority and unconditional regard and motherly wisdom all at once. Who said aprons are just about cooking and cleaning? They are also about emotional availability, hospitality, and femininity. They state in clearest terms that to serve is to reign.
There is an apron renaissance going on out there and much of it is recorded on the Internet.
Women everywhere are taking pictures of their aprons and posting them on certain blogs. They are scouring the Internet looking for vintage patterns and materials. They are writing about what being a mother and a housewife means to them. These women aren't depressed. They don't need valium or to drink secretly or to watch a wildly popular television show that is a diabolical inversion of their lives.
I am not proposing that we make out like we are Catholic Martha Stewarts with St. Therese sacrifice beads. This is not about impossible standards of perfection. Our husbands, our children, our guests, and our sanity come before immaculate homes. In fact, aprons can signal to pop-callers that a woman is about to clean her house. That she is far too gracious to let a little mess detract from her innate sense of hospitality.
I think a National Wear-an-Apron Day should be during the month of Immaculate Mary, the day after Mother's Day, May 14th this year. Amidst the quiet drama of our everyday lives, we can celebrate in gratitude our homes and families by toasting each other with tea and homemade cookies and fresh buttered bread. And go ahead, on Career Day at your local school, invite a girl over to see what your life is like. She most likely will have no idea how to hold a baby or how to make a stew or how to bake a casserole to take to a bereaved family or how soft your apron is for drying tears.
The devil very well may wear Prada, but authentically feminine women wear aprons!
If you support a National Wear-an-Apron Day, please email the Kitchen Madonna at firstname.lastname@example.org.