Is it just me? It can’t just be me, surely? So why don’t I know anyone else over the age of, say, nine, who is in need of a bib? I’m excluding the need for maximum coverage when sucking one’s way through a rack of spare ribs draped generously in the sauce du jour be it hot, barbecue or sticky; not only do you need to be covered in a tablecloth to eat this stuff but finger bowls have to be bath sized. No, I’m talking about daily meals, the usual breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the cooking, prepping and eating of same.
It seems fair enough to expect that you can keep yourself and your clothes neat and clean while in the kitchen, but I am literally unable to handle food without smearing it on my clothes, most commonly my sleeves and upper body. OK, flat-chested I am not, which clearly creates a platform for drip-catching, but why am I dripping stuff with what appears to be major abandon, in the first place?
I know that aprons exist – I have many of them – and that other people wear them successfully, but the putting on of an apron is normally a precursor to baking (flour gets everywhere) or roasting (dropping meat fat on your best jeans is painful as well as sartorially inept). And I do wear my aprons to cook in. And still, I’m covered in gobs of this and dabs of that. If, unusually, I am wearing something smart or new I actually have to change into old clothes to cook because it will be an absolute dead cert that I will embellish my new favourite top with something that will leave a semi-permanent stain directly between the boobs. This does not cheer me.
I don’t think I eat like a ravening Henry VIII, tossing half carcases of game birds and whole legs of lamb over my shoulder after violently sinking my teeth into juicy flesh, or perhaps I do. My chin is only occasionally decorated with a splat of gravy or flake of fish, so again, why am I such a food clutz, unable to ferry the contents of my spoon, fork or chopstick daintily into my mouth without creating leavings that adhere, which the dogs will delight in licking off me later in the day?
I‘m thinking that perhaps I should get an extra farm boilersuit just for wearing in the kitchen, or perhaps a wetsuit would be better, although that would make standing and stirring stuff over the Aga unbearably like tending to hell fires. Or more eccentrically, one of those all in one things that astronauts wear to moon walk, complete with helmet. With an extra bib to keep the airpipes unclogged.