It was February, 2008, when I began the process of becoming This Old Hausfrau. I didn’t know it at the time. Before that, I’d been only a few other things. You know how some girls have distinct phases of their lives: “That’s when I was living in Seattle and working as a bartender,” or “That’s when I was living in Altoona and working as a paralegal for that sleaze ball lawyer,” or “That was when I was living on the kibbutz outside of Jerusalem.” No, I didn’t have any phases like that. I was pretty much always a bookseller, living in New Haven, and if I wasn’t a bookseller, I was doing something that was somehow related to being a bookseller. I worked in libraries, or did freelance writing and copyediting and copywriting, or something like that. And it didn’t seem likely that I’d ever be anything else.
But then I had this baby, and it turned out that that was the start of a whole new thing. It took a while, but by the time my baby was a toddler, it was pretty clear, I wasn’t a bookseller really anymore (though I do have the legal wherewithal to sell you books, and if I have something you want, by all means I am more than happy to ring up the sale); and I wasn’t a Writer anymore (though I do still write, just not as profitably). I was a hausfrau. And it’s now November 2014, and I am an even older Old Hausfrau.
Don’t get me wrong: I was always someone who liked being at home. In the days when I lived alone, I was prone to re-arranging my apartment for fun, shoving things from one side of the room to the other, and it made me very happy indeed to change the tablecloth on my one table, according to my mood.
But who knew that someday this sort of thing would be most of my daily life? That I’d be someone who baked pain de mie twice a week? That I’d be someone who knew what pain de mie even is? Let alone owned the appropriate pan for baking it? What a shock it is, to be me, these days.
Here I am, the Balabusta of Upper Orange Street, the old hausfrau I never, ever thought I would be. If you think you’d like to hear what I’ve got to say about anything, check back. I might be talking about cooking. I might be talking about sweeping. I might be talking about books. You just do not know what’s going to come out of my fingertips next. I’m confident you won’t find me writing Star Wars fanfic here, but other than that, pretty much anything goes.