The Loh Life is writer/performer Sandra Tsing Loh's weekly take on life, family, and pop culture in early 21st century Southern California.
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Batchelder pad: sreechy clean- part 3





Sandra Tsing Loh gets "don booties"- ready.

As I’ve said. . . When I agreed to open my home for this year’s Garfield Heights Historic Home Tour--? I figured I’d get a few locals trekking through the house on a casual Sunday afternoon as a way to raise a few dollars for our annual neighborhood block party.

What I’ve COME to learn is that my new home town of Pasadena is a. . . Not peculiar, not curious, not wacky, no. . . Let us call it a UNIQUE place. Consider the fact that the city’s annual Craftsman Weekend was held recently at the Pasadena CONVENTION Center. Why? Because it is--and I quote--"the largest and most comprehensive SALUTE to the Arts & Crafts Movement in the western United States."

Understand? It was apparently THESE sorts of people-- People who would FLOCK on a weekend to a CONVENTION center for an Arts & Crafts Movement SALUTE-- who would be coming by the HUNDREDS to inspect every last detail of my 1907 home. I imagined finicky people, retired people, people in Sunbrella hats and SPF 90 sunscreen, people carrying tote bags filled with chardonnay and adorable toy dogs with names like Thoreau and Emerson. They were ALL coming to see MY house – and, before stepping in, they would be askedto, quote unquote, “don booties.” Which, as I suggested last week, is a great name for a fussy fictional DOCENT, "Don Booties."

And while I am no EXPERT in Batchelder TILE, I have a SENSE that Arts & Crafts looky-loos do not don booties to protect their shoes from how dirty your floors are. No, they don booties because your circa 1899 peg and groove floors are so CLEAN you should be able to LICK them. They expect it to be IMMACULATE.

Okay-- Raise your hand if you are NOT self-conscious about your own housecleaning skills. No hands? Exactly!

So I now enter this VORTEX of panic where the day BEFORE the tour, I hire a professional housecleaner. This magical HOUSECLEANER is an expert in big old houses-- But eight hours--and 160 dollars--later, she has barely FINISHED the bottom floor.

I immediately REGRET both the money and the unsettling revelation of how truly deep-clean my house is for the first time in a YEAR-- I see light switch plates that are no longer grimy, I see baseboards in the kitchen-- Who knew there were baseboards? And that they were white? As I scoot around the house in my bare feet--shoes indoors being but a distant memory-- For the first time, I feel the actual GLOSS, POLISH and even GRAIN of my wooden FLOORS--

Oh my God! We are in the state of "don booties"! And will remain so if NO one
--including my children--eats, drinks, pees, sneezes or breathes for the next 18 hours! Can we make it?