Can You Squat?
Rose joined her friend already seated outside at the Hudson Garden Grill. The restaurant known for its ambiance and gourmet menu was contained within the Bronx Botanical Gardens where they planned to attend the Orchid Show after lunch. Hugh clay pots dripping with colorful annuals decorated the patio and cardinals danced with the breeze.
“You’re late,” quipped Joan handing her a menu, “I ordered us drinks.”
Rose sighed and said, “How did you know what I wanted? I’m dieting.”
“You always order a Bloody Mary with lunch. Joan argued, “If you prefer, I’ll drink yours. Really Rose, this is when you thank me, apologize for being late, and explain why . . . . . like, maybe your cat threw up.”
Rose leaned forward and lowered her voice, “Can you Squat?”
Stunned Joan shook her head then blurted out, “Can I squat? Have you lost your mind? I can’t put on my underwear standing up,” as the server appeared with their drinks and interrupted the conversation saying, “Hi, I’m Chantal and I will be your server.” Dressed in a v-neck black tee and a tan khaki skirt she wore a smile from ear to ear, a pen was tucked inside her hair bun.
Rose was hungry. She had not eaten before the incident than did not have time after, but nevertheless asked the server to give them a few minutes.
Chantal said, “It’s a beautiful day, take your time.”
They discussed the menu choices and after deciding Rose would have Chicken Paillaid, Joan the Lobster Bolognese, raised their glasses to toast the occasion. Joan’s first grandchild had been born on her seventieth birthday and she had been busy attending CPR classes for infants and signed up for the course on installing child car seats.
When Joan paused, Rose attempted once again to get a response to her question, “Can you squat?”
“Squat? You mean squat as in the late 1970’s so men couldn’t see up our miniskirt or squat as in squatter’s rights from the 1800’s?”
Rose rubbed the back of her head reminded of the morning’s incident, “Squat as in your butt is nearer to the floor than your knees. It’s concerning, things are going downhill fast, soon we won’t be able to fix our own meals.”
“That’s why there is take out Rose, and surely you have heard of Meals on Wheels. I can open a jar of olives now that I have that rubber thing,” Joan offered with pride.
Again, Rose leaned forward and whispered, “This is serious, can you squat? I can no longer squat. Well that’s not totally true, I can squat just not get up from the squat.” Her voice faded as the server arrived with their entrees.
Joan suctioned her glass with a straw and motioned the server they would have two more drinks.
Nursing the celery topped Bloody Mary’s Rose explained, “I have this vertigo thing going on, and bending over causes dizziness. Today I said to myself, ‘self don’t bend over, squat’ and did. But I couldn’t get up and when my thighs were screaming with pain let go of the counter and fell hitting the back of my head on the floor.”
Joan asked, “Where was Tom, did he call 911?”
“Tom was playing golf. I crawled into the dining room and leaned on a chair to get upright. It was exhausting and reason I was late.”
A patron on their way to the restroom stopped to comment, “The same thing happened to my husband, on the golf course. He forgot he wasn’t twenty-four and squatted to line up his putt, it wasn’t pretty.”
Joan attempted to offer condolences, saying, “You poor thing. You must have a bump.” But giggled instead, putting her hand over her mouth and apologized for laughing. Rose not knowing whether to laugh or cry joined her. Soon their laughter was drawing attention.
Chantal rolled her eyes delivering the check.
After paying, they toured the orchid show, took the train ride to see the azaleas, and visited the gift shop.
On the ride home, Rose wished she were young again.
. . . . just saying
To Be Young Once More
Wiggles and giggles galore
Remember we’d drop to the floor
Get up and dance, afraid of wetting our pants and giggle some more
Our faces would ache as spirits soared
Oh to be young once more
Now it’s difficult to stand and everything is sore
Not just back, knees, and feet, but ear lobes, eyebrows and seat.
We can no longer squat to pickup something dropped
But bend deep at the waist . . . . disgraced by a moan
Not the “When Harry Met Sally” type even though our eyes are shut tight
We linger then limp to a chair wondering, when did we get this old?