The Loh Life

Batchelder Pad: Don Booties- part 2

Sandra Tsing Loh opens her house as part of Pasadena’s Garfield Heights Historic Home Tour.

I confess I was in a bit of a fog when I agreed to have my HOUSE be part of Pasadena’s Garfield Heights Historic Home Tour.

Probably the FIRST problem was that I have never BEEN on a historic home tour, so I was unclear on the concept. I figured that one Sunday afternoon, I would open up my 1907 home, intrigued looky-loos would troop through. . . And in return they would leave a small DONATION that would go towards the neighborhood association’s annual BLOCK party. It all seemed sort of, um, casual. . .

But perhaps that was wishful THINKING, as I am casual about many THINGS. . . From lawn care to the volcano of BILLS on my dining room TABLE to my dining room CHAIRS bought at a yard sale from a bus boy who had INHERITED them from a Coco’s Family restaurant.

The first inkling I was perhaps SEVERELY out of my league was at a meeting at my block captain LISA’S house-- Which I hardly need mention is 1912, impeccable, Mission style. Brie was served.

It was not so much the news that people on historic home tours enjoy "Before and After" photos-- This FAILED to disturb me, because I do not HAVE such photos-- I WOULD not have to mount them neatly on a foldout pasteboard as Lisa had done last year, which is good as I am terrible at crafts.

Nor was I TOO concerned to learn that we would have volunteer DOCENTS in our homes to usher people THROUGH and explain the relevant architectural features. After ALL, it seems APPROPRIATE that. . . someone SKILLED would be. . . on hand to explain things since. . . I don’t KNOW the architectural features. While I would love to talk about my "hipped dormer roof," I don’t know WHAT that is exactly…so better to leave it to the experts.

No, HERE’S what FINALLY got the bell of terror to toll deep INSIDE me. It was when one of the home tour COMMITTEE members leaned forward and murmured, in a soft, confiding voice: "And we’d be happy to place BUCKETS on your front porch. So before tour groups step INSIDE your house, the docent can ask them to don booties."

"To do what?" I asked.

"Don booties."

For a moment, I thought my home was ACTUALLY going to be manned by a docent NAMED "Don Booties." As in "Good afternoon, I am your docent, Don R. Booties."

Suddenly I had this horrible feeling that I was going to have to do more than sweep the floor.

I was gonna have to lick it.


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