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Old-school - Laura Wise

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May 13th, 2011


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08:29 am - Old-school
A couple of nights ago I ruined a new T-shirt. I was scrubbing my kitchen countertop (an old-school counter, mind) with a cleaner mixed with bleach, and despite my best efforts, a drop of it splashed onto my clothes. So now there's a thumbprint of white on my nice new green shirt.

What this teaches me is that I need to start wearing aprons.

It never occurs to me in the moment that there's a v. good reason for that old-school practice. Perhaps it's because aprons are associated in my mind with 1950s housewifes or similar, June Cleaver whipping on some ruffled number to protect her daydress and pearls. An apron over yoga trousers and T-shirt doesn't go. Maybe it should. I'll reclaim and reframe it.

(I'm trying to think of a TV cook -- not chef -- who wears an apron in their perfectly appointed kitchen, and I can't think of one. Can you?)

I think too of apron-strings and the disparaging references to same. 'Tied to her apron strings' is of course a sexist way to imply a male's unnatural [sic] attachment to his female family member, the one who needs to protect daydress and pearls. Funny how it's never used for a woman. We're supposed to be so tied, I guess.

I'm off tomorrow to visit my father in the Central Plains. I wonder if he's kept any of my late mother's aprons, and if so, if he'd like to pass them along.

I'll reclaim and reframe that phrase as well as that practice, I think.

What old-school practice would you like to reclaim and reframe these days? May it be a good one!

(17 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:winding_path
Date:May 13th, 2011 12:50 pm (UTC)
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Parasols, and handheld folding fans. I've used both -- moreso the latter. I used to keep a blue and white fan in my purse and use it waiting for the Metro and the buses in DC. They both just make so much sense to me, even though I know the connotations are not twenty-first century, educated woman who happens to have frightfully pale (and burnable) skin, and prefers not to be hot while waiting for public transport.

I'm sorry about your shirt, but I wish you luck with finding the right apron for you!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 13th, 2011 03:20 pm (UTC)
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Handheld folding fans, yes. That would be a great boon. (I should look for some online.)

I used to wear big-brimmed hats in desert summers, but the subtropics are so sticky that I've given up the idea of something 'round my head. A parasol might indeed be the ticket!

Thanks for excellent ideas, W_P!
[User Picture]
From:singinglark
Date:May 13th, 2011 02:22 pm (UTC)
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I was given a completely goofy full-length apron as a Christmas present a few years ago--it was from a Korean market, and it is bright yellow, with ruffles and appliqued weird-looking cartoon animals on the front. I love it SO much.

I strongly recommend getting an apron that covers your shirt, not just lower half--I tend to spatter my top half far more than my pants. And the sillier it is, the more fun is to wear.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 13th, 2011 03:21 pm (UTC)
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I second your idea of an apron to cover one's shirt -- and for baking, I could use one that covers my sleeves. ;-) (Oh, the flour I scatter.)

How FUN your full-length apron sounds! Hurrah for it, and for you!
[User Picture]
From:janus_74
Date:May 13th, 2011 02:25 pm (UTC)
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It's unfortunate that our associations sometimes stop us from doing things that are otherwise perfectly reasonable. I've had numerous shirts (not even super nice ones...just every day wear) ruined due to oil spilling somehow the apron would have saved me. I kind of like them actually, they make me feel like what I'm doing is somehow more important or fancy...must be associations from the big family Christmas gatherings where all the ladies would grab one of grandmas aprons and help out with the big dinner.

I'd like to reclaim Sunday visits with cake and coffee. We'd always drop in at my grandmas house and she'd always have coffee on and home made treats ready. And if there wasn't someone else there for a visit it was only a matter of minutes before another person would show up.

Hope you have an excellent time on your visit!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 13th, 2011 03:24 pm (UTC)
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Oh, I love your reminiscences here -- and yes, the idea of visiting times is a fabulous one. I've recently read Marjorie Hillis's 1930s style-and-sense book Orchids on a Budget, and she describes the delightful practice of having drop-in teas as a regular social event. Your Sunday visits sound like an even better version of that!

Cheers, and thanks for your great ideas!
[User Picture]
From:mamculuna
Date:May 13th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
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Aprons can be very sophisticated--from somewhere I inherited a long, slinky, lace-edged black one. But of course it's way too pretty to mess up, so I actually wear it only as a last-minute decoration for a very fancy meal, the kind I just about never cook. For real life, I have retired clothes. Some become cooking clothes, some cleaning, some painting, some gardening...but that does mean you have to actually change clothes before whatever activity.

And a ruffly June Cleaver apron could be very cute!


My old-school reframe would be white bedsheets, mostly because I inherited so many and can't bring myself to spend money on new colorful ones. But can't think of a way to make them other than what they are.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 13th, 2011 03:27 pm (UTC)
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I am right with you with the 'retired' clothes for cleaning, etc etc... but I've been thinking that I'd like to cull those. They take up so much space! And then, as you say, the changing clothes before the activity is a must.

I will ponder your white bedsheet question. Hmmm.

Thanks, and a good Friday to you!
[User Picture]
From:anne_d
Date:May 13th, 2011 03:00 pm (UTC)
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[hugs]

I'd worry about splashing bleach on my nice apron, if it was me. Perhaps a nice white lab coat is in order?

Edited at 2011-05-13 03:02 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 13th, 2011 03:27 pm (UTC)
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Heee. Yes, you raise a useful point. :-)

Hugs and a better Friday to you!
[User Picture]
From:paratti
Date:May 13th, 2011 03:30 pm (UTC)
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Have a good trip to your dad's.

((Hugs))
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 13th, 2011 04:21 pm (UTC)
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Thanks, L! I just realized I'm going to miss the Neil Gaiman ep of Doctor Who, so I'm a little frazzled, but we persevere. :-)

Please enjoy London for me this weekend!
From:gwynnega
Date:May 13th, 2011 06:21 pm (UTC)
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I don't know that I'd actually use one if I had one, but I do miss typewriters...

::hugs::
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 13th, 2011 07:02 pm (UTC)
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Typewriters could be attractive as objects in themselves -- it's rare for me to see a computer that way.

Hugs! Royal and Brother and IBM Selectric typewritery hugs! :-)
[User Picture]
From:ljrags
Date:May 13th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)
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It is no surprise to anyone my old school item is nice weight paper and good pens. FOR WRITING LETTERS.

Actually, I have been contemplating an old school kitchen too. I find myself so not liking the granite and pretty pretty kitchens that someone would be afraid to mess up. We were watching an old movie the other day and the heroes took refuge in a deserted farmhouse. I coveted the kitchen.

Anthropologie may have aprons that you like. The last time I was in there, they were fun and very useable.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 13th, 2011 11:36 pm (UTC)
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That is a lovely old-school item! And yes, granite countertops do not actually appeal to me either.

Hurrah for letters, for farmhouse kitchens, and for you!
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 21st, 2011 04:59 pm (UTC)
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Sorry to be so late in replying -- but thank you, L!

Happy Saturday, too!

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