I have taken to wearing an apron. Lots of jobs require aprons. Those helpful folks at Lowes, Home Depot or whatever your “big box” home improvement store is called, all sport snappy little short aprons with lots of pockets. Wait-staff have many various versions of aprons, from the classic ankle-length crisp white ones, rolled at the waist and worn over black pants and shirts in fine Italian restaurants, to the ones that barely cover the obvious parts of nubile teenage girls at clam shacks on the beach.
Butchers wear aprons and the blood smears seem oddly acceptable. My grandmother always wore aprons. She had an entire wardrobe of “hostess aprons” and cleaning aprons, and baking aprons. They were always the full frontal versions and large enough to serve as a tablecloth. I loved the thought of frilly gingham aprons as a kid. The line starts to blur with folks such as farriers. Chaps? Apron? The leather protects the smithy’s legs but also has handy pockets.
Aprons are actually incredibly handy in life. You don’t need a purse, pockets on jeans don’t bulge or feel uncomfortable. The wide pockets, if properly placed, offer not only a catchall for lip gloss and a cell phone, but also a comfortable resting place for hands. I keep a slightly damp paper towel in the left pocket for wiping down sticky vinegar spills, and my fingers when filling bottles. In the right side is spare corks, torn-off paper from Fusti labels and lip gloss. I refuse to carry or answer my phone when I’m working the store floor.
So every morning, when I desperately yank open drawers, empty “seasonal storage boxes,” and search through closets in my daughter’s abandoned bedrooms for my “outfit du jour,” I have to factor in the apron. Whatever I choose will be partially obscured by the Kelly green, monogrammed “Monadnock Oil and Vinegar” apron I wear.
My apron grounds me and brings me to my happy place. Today, for instance, I arrived and Korey was busy with a few folks; mixing tasting cups and chatting. I walked to the stockroom, exchanged my coat for an apron and became “Vinegar Lady!” No Super-Hero ever wore an apron, but it does transport me to a comfortable state of “me.”