My domestic armour

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My domestic armour

500 words: What I was wearing

https://open.abc.net.au/explore/109199

I take up my apron like a matador takes up his cape.With a flourish and a swirl, I whip it around and let it float over me.I secure the ties. I adjust the neckline. I straighten the length.My apron. My armour.I am ready for action!Are there many aprons around nowadays? Rarely are they worn on the melting pot of cooking shows that abound on television.And the celebrity chefs don’t often deign to don a pinnie or summon a smock to protect against spills or stains.Instead, the chefs and cooks and makers and creators go to it in their designer outfits and in-your-face bling, sometimes not even condescending to roll up their sleeves or take off their diamond geegaws and cubic zirconia trinketry!When I’m in the kitchen, whether it be at the sink or the stove, I don’t feel right to even begin the task at hand if I am not wearing my apron. Where did this obsession with protective clothing begin? Probably somewhere in my childhood. Perhaps I can blame my mother (again) – she usually doesn’t mind (thanks mum!)And then, of course, to persist with it through to adulthood and fully embrace it when there was a chance I could cast it aside…well, I feel comfortable in my apron. My clothes are protected and so what if I happen to splatter, smear or splash something messy? My apron is there to sop up the spills and save the day!My apron sends out my message visually – “’I’ve got an apron and I’m not afraid to use it!” Or, “I am here to do a job and I don’t care if I get my hands, face or any other bits dirty!”Sure, I’ve been through a few aprons in my time, that’s to be expected in my line of work.And yes, I have a few different aprons on the go at any one time. Not your frilly, girly, dont-get-me-dirty type aprons. More your cotton, absorbent, put-me-to-work types.My current favourite has been with me for a couple of years. My uni student daughter and I were out op-shopping when a terrific find was unearthed.”Mum, I’m going to buy this for you!” she bubbled, excitedly.She held up a purple tie-dyed apron with a pocket at the front made out of a crocheted doily doubled over. This hand-made beauty was definitely unique.”It’s so you,” she cooed.It cost my daughter fifty cents – the op shop was having a half price sale that day.My hippy apron gets a good work out in my kitchen. It’s with me as I feed my family and as I clean up after them. It’s with me on birthdays, Christmases and Easters and it’s with me on the ordinary days as well. Me and my apron, memories bound together by housework…and love.

 

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