Sandra Tsing Loh's first Garfield Heights Historic Home Tour.... bring out the wine.
So my house ended up on this year’s Garfield Heights Historic Home Tour-- And I thought it would be fun and CASUAL--
But then, I learned all of these Pasadena historic HOME AFFICIONADOS were going to be asked to DON BOOTIES before entering my house--
Which meant that buying a knockoff Mission lamp from Target would not be ENOUGH to get READY, my house would actually have to be CLEAN--
And so I frantically hire a housecleaner, but can only AFFORD to have her clean ONE FLOOR-- So now I’m manically SCRUBBING shower tile grout with Comet and a toothbrush-- I’m yelling at my children not to eat, drink or pee in order not to mar our home’s temporarily pristine Don Bootyness--
And by George, for the first couple of hours? Our efforts pay off!
The tour begins magically! On cue, our visitors ARRIVE, in Sunbrella hats and sunscreen, lovingly dog-eared copies of "American Bungalow" MAGAZINE tucked under their arms. They are bursting with knowledge! For instance, are my wooden floors ORIGINAL? An elderly visitor with a KUSC TOTE bag says apparently no, they are not, because the individual planks are too short. . . for the style of my 1907 home. I did not know that!
It all SEEMS to be going swimmingly, when disaster strikes. It happens on my front PORCH--under our hipped dormer roof--I THINK that’s what it’s called. A volunteer asks an elderly lady to don booties – and she flatly refuses, saying, "This is the worst historic home tour I’ve EVER been on!"
Oh no! I think. The jig is up! Does she sense my Tiffany style lamp is plastic? Or that my wooden dining room chairs are not Colonial era but seven-dollar yard sale rejects from Coco’s Family Restaurant?
In horror and dread I ask her: "Why is our home tour so. . . bad?"
The cranky LADY, a retiree named Rosemary from Gardena, has much to say. At $15, the tour was somewhat pricey for her fixed income. And here she was SITTING on my porch, and no one was EXPLAINING any of the historic features. This was nothing like the fabulous historic home tours of--TORRANCE, who knew? After all, she says, in Torrance, for $15, you got REFRESHMENTS!
At which point I MYSELF felt very old, if not actually HISTORIC. "Come on in," I said, pulling Rosemary into my home and pouring her a GIANT glass of wine. And then another. She ended up having a GRAND old time!
In short, next year? No faux Tiffany lamps or housecleaning--just booze! Very old, historic booze. Or new. As long as it’s served in a booty.