Why does wearing an apron make me feel a fool?

Not many people speak of the Disadvantages Of The Paleo Diet. Instead, you’ll find page after page of Paleo Diet successes. So here they are.


  1. An increased need for tooth floss. Turns out real food and flesh gets caught between the teeth more than highly processed food out of a packet.
  2. A permanently messy kitchen. I’m always in the middle of something. Whether it’s a huge jar of lacto-fermenting vegetables or yogurt making or vegetable chopping, this kitchen is permanently in use. (Who am I kidding? My bench was never clear.)
  3. Cooking with fat makes for harder washing up. The oven needs cleaning more regularly and it currently smells of lamb chops.
  4. Fat is impossible to remove from clothes. I don’t think I’m a particularly messy eater, but when you increase your fat intake you might really notice the increased number of grease spots on your shirts.

I gotta start wearing a goddam apron.

A friend gave me an apron because she thought it would be hilarious. I’m not the apron wearing type. My mother forwarded me a thing about aprons and when I told her I’d started wearing one she said, ‘I can’t imagine you in a pinny!’

I don’t usually pass these things on, but here’s that thing about aprons:

Grandma’s Apron

Remember making an apron in Home Ec? Remember Home Ec? If we have to explain “Home Ec” you may delete this. I just don’t have the energy anymore. Read on.

The History of ‘APRONS’

I don’t think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few and because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons required less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.

After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the autumn, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes.

Send this to those who would know (and love) the story about Grandma’s aprons.


Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw. [Excuse my editorial commentary but I hate this guilt-trip shit.]

The Government would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron. [‘Political correctness gone mad’.]

I don’t think I ever caught anything from an apron – but love…

As demonstrated by that Ode To The Pinny, aprons are synonymous with housewives, specifically the housewives of yesteryear, or perhaps of the uptight image of modern womanhood spoofed by Desperate Housewives.

Bree Van De Kamp and D-Lux 57 Pink Pears Retro Apron Photograph

As pointed out by The Peach, I’m learning to associate aprons with “media dedicated to flouncy, ‘womanly’ things”:

Everywhere I look, I see pretty pictures of young women in patterned aprons, baking up a storm in the kitchen, with the aid of retro mix-masters and designer oven mitts. They’ve featured in magazines, TV shows and advertising for a while. Now they’re front-and-centre in daily newspapers.

–from I’m Fed Up With The Return To Women’s Pages In Newspapers

But you know what else? I think my snubbing the apron also has to do with my age, and the fact that my entire life I’ve been brought up to be something better than a housewife.

‘Housewife’ is not actually an insult.

I found myself second-guessing my words recently, when a female friend told me that her husband had applied for a posting overseas. If he got the job she would join him in a developing country. I asked if she intended on being a housewife for the duration. Afterwards, I wondered if this had sounded insulting,  since like her husband, she has a PhD. Why should ‘housewife’ be an insult, though? Is this one unintended consequence of the current feminist movement?

See: Referencing housewives as a negative model of femininity is extremely offensive to me from The Peach, amid a wider discussion about internships. As much as I love the Jezebel website (often linking to their articles on this very blog), their consistently (and mostly hilarious) ironic take on the world sometimes needs to be challenged.



It used to be called a ‘napron‘.


Going from freewheeling traveler to “housewife” is NOT an easy transition from The Peach


What We Talk About When We Talk About Homemaking from Dumbleadore