1 February 2017. Picture a cool summer morning. You wade into the garden ready to zone in and weed for the next few hours before the sun comes out and the bugs attack. You get so focused that you don't notice yourself growing grubby until, all of a sudden, you reach your heat-dirt saturation point. It's time to pack it in and scrape off the grime. That's the precise moment your neighbor chooses to stop by to admire your labor and chat. As you stand there talking, you long to feel less like a human bag of mulch. But how? A shower, certainly, but an instant remedy? An apron.
Aprons protect us from the dirt of everyday life, the stuff we don't want to wear after the task is done. They also create a united front of an outfit. This applies not only to gardening, but also painting, working with clay, dusting, cooking, demolishing. Imaginary scene #2: you're preparing for a dinner party, sweats on, hair askew, when you hear a knock on the door from a well-meaning but altogether too early guest. Suddenly, an apron is a godsend. It not only hides the not-safe-for-guests clothing, but makes you look put-together as you gracefully exit and scramble into your party clothes.
In essence, an apron is a uniform. It marks its wearers as hands-on, practical, and prepared. Even if you're attempting to throw pottery or rip up flooring for the first time, an apron can make you look ready for the job. And though we strive to have qualities that are more than skin deep around here, looking prepared is sometimes the first step towards feeling adept. It's only a hop, skip, and a jump from there to genuine confidence, the kind that, apron-clad, allows us to go out into the world and face the mess.