This past Sunday, I visited The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis and listened to a panel of women writers talk about where they were when they began to take their work seriously, how they find support (both monetary and emotional), what they are working on now, and how life for women who write differs from that of men who write. Some of the women were wearing aprons because they were also holding a bake sale to raise money for The Loft.
That irony was not lost on me.
And where did I go with this in my head as I sat in the audience? Did I spend a lot of time thinking about equality or lack thereof? Did I ponder how lucky I am that I have a partner who supports my creative work no matter what? Did I get my undies in a bunch over fair versus unfair or whether my work is actually any good?
No. I went straight to why I seldom wear an apron when I cook. And I love to cook. That’s a lot of shirts I splatter stuff on.
Perhaps that was not the hoped-for take-away message. I pondered this all some more as I sat with my laptop in my own kitchen, not because I’m a woman writer but because the kitchen has a clear view of the living room television so I can have CNN on for background noise while I work at the counter and sit on this great bar stool I have. That, and it’s a shorter stroll to the coffee pot. When I get down to the serious work of final revision, I work in my office with DJ Shadow for background noise.
But back to the apron thing.
One of my best friends returned from a Paris-Rome trip this past weekend (I just corrected that sentence: I had typed “pasta weekend”, a direct unconscious response to her stop in Rome). She brought me a present. Three guesses?
Skip right over numbers one and two. Three: she brought me an apron. It has all kinds of pictures of Italian wine bottles on it. Naturally, I don’t want to get them all dirty since I’m not sure I’ll get to Rome myself anytime soon.
So, now I’m thinking that there are probably all kinds of things to do while wearing an apron…like discuss women who write.
I suppose it depends on what one is wearing under the apron.
Food for thought.