Recap: The Facts gals are aerobicizing in the cafeteria to a Jane Fonda cassette tape, and - yeesh - it's not a pretty sight. As Natalie and Blair huff and puff from out-of-shape exhaustion, Jo chides them for their shitty fitness level and says that this is the point in their lives when they should be at their physical peak. She compares them unflatteringly to Mrs. Garrett, who's much older and jogs two miles a day...and Tootie gets in on that action and blurts out, "Yeah! Shame on you!" as though she's in any position to be critical of anyone else's fitness level. Natalie says that Mrs. Garrett is only going jogging 'cause she's desperate to hang onto her youth, then snaps that as far as exercise goes regarding the youthful, "Who needs this garbage?!" Blair clucks in amusement and tells them that the real reason Mrs. Garrett has taken up jogging is to spend more time with the man she's dating: Professor Henry Clayton, a teacher at Bates Academy. Jo shrugs and says it's nice she's dating and that the old girl could use some companionship, even if it is with a much older man. Blair concurs and says that women often seek love, companionship, and gold-digging opportunities from much older men...and Tootie agrees that, yep, there is a certain allure to dating older men.
Mrs. Garrett and Henry jog into the cafeteria to say hey. Natalie introduces herself with a blunt, "Hi, I'm Natalie. I'm fifteen. How old are you?" and Henry declines to answer...but then a few seconds later admits he's seventy. Blair gasps and marvels, "And you're still jogging?" then shakes her head in utter wonderment and calls his physical stamina remarkable. Mrs. Garrett explains that Henry has been a lifelong jogger...and when Henry jokes that he rotates his legs every 5,000 miles, Mrs. Garrett dissolves into gales of shriek-laughter for what seems like a really looooong time. Tootie informs her that her new curtains were delivered today, so then Mrs. Garrett asks Henry if he wouldn't mind helping her hang them. He says OK, then steps into the lounge to check his messages. Blair grins knowingly and points out that "hanging curtains" is a clever way to lure Henry up to her room...and Mrs. Garrett half-heartedly denies that any hanky-panky will ensue, then gets a dreamy look on her face and gushes about what a brilliant, well travelled, and special man Henry is. As she happily flounces upstairs, Jo remarks on how "whacked out" Mrs. Garrett is over Henry...while Natalie scrunches her face in disapproval and says she thinks he's way too old for her, and that she's pretty sure his arteries have hardened and that his libido is in very limp shape.
As Henry helps Mrs. Garrett hang her new curtains, the two chat about Tahiti, where he once traveled with his late wife. Mrs. Garrett says it sounds like a very romantic place...and when Henry suggests they travel there together next summer, Mrs. Garrett immediately gets all aflutter and cries, "Oh!" Henry quickly explains that he wasn't suggesting anything improper - even though at their age, who could possibly give a rat's ass? - he was hinting that a trip to Tahiti could be a sort of honeymoon. She stares at him in shock, then asks if he's proposing...and he's like, "Well d'yuh" and says he was once happily married and thinks he could be happy again with her. When Mrs. Garrett reminds him that they've only known each other for three months, he breezily insists it's right and urges her to think it over - but to not take too long since he's got one foot in the grave. He then leans in and plants her with an intense lip-on-lip smooch, which...ew.
Mrs. Garrett makes a beeline over to the girls' bedroom to dish about Henry's marriage proposal...and they're all, "Wha-a?!" and sit her down so they can fully review and analyze the sitch. Natalie reminds her she's only known the old fart for three months and asks if she's seriously considering marrying him, and Mrs. Garrett beams and chirps, "Absolutely!" Tootie grins and calls his proposal romantic, but Mrs. Garrett insists it's more than that, and that men like Henry don't come along every day. When Natalie grumbles about all the age related problems of Henry being seventy, Mrs. Garrett insists he's in great condition...but a few seconds later they hear him cry out in pain.
Henry somehow hurt his lower back while hanging up the curtains, and is now nestled in Mrs. Garrett's bed amid her many pillows. Natalie diagnoses him with degenerating disk problems and wryly says she knows from her doctor dad how common the condition is among the old folk. Mrs. Garrett offers to call a doctor, but Henry tells her not to bother 'cause it's happened before. He says it usually just takes a month of bedrest until he starts feeling better...and makes it clear that he's going to be doing all of his recuperating at Eastland. The Facts gals look horrified at being saddled with the old man for that long, and Jo tells Mrs. Garrett she can sleep in their room on a rollaway. After the girls shuffle out of the room, Henry implores Mrs. Garrett to accept his marriage proposal. She tells him she's still mulling it over, then gives him a little horn to honk if he needs anything...which soon turns out to be a really bad idea.
A few days later, Henry is full on cranky pants as he honks his horn and demands that someone bring him his nail clippers. Mrs. Garrett scurries around to locate the clippers while Natalie glares with disdain in Henry's direction. Blair enters the room and pleasantly asks, "How are we today?" and Henry admonishes her for her inaccurate grammar. Natalie lays it on thick about how much better he's looking...and that he seems more than ready to get up, change out of his nasty blue PJs, and get out into the world. LOL. Henry sarcastically asks her if this is Graduation Day, and Mrs. Garrett interjects and gently urges the girls to let Henry get his rest. Henry smugly concurs, then bitchily adds that he's unable to rest properly whenever the girls blare their ghastly rock and roll music. As Blair and Natalie shoot narrowed stink-eyes at him from the doorway, Mrs. Garrett soothingly assures her crusty old beau that they'll keep the racket down.
Jo brings Henry the day's issue of The New York Times and a packet of tobacco. Henry grumbles that she bought the wrong kind of tobacco, then complains that the financial section is missing from the paper. Jo explains that while running the errand on her motorcycle in the rain, she wiped out on the wet street and must have lost parts of the Times. Henry's like, "Whatever" and orders her to return to the scene of her wipeout and scour the streets for the paper's missing parts. Jo glares at him in bewildered disbelief as Mrs. Garrett and Natalie enter the room and ask, "How are we doing?" - another grammar blunder which prompts Henry to roll his eyes in annoyance. Natalie announces that she and Mrs. Garrett are off to a Save the Whales rally, and Henry mutters about what a dumb waste of time that is, and nonsensically retorts that it's not like whales ever rally together to save people. Tootie enters the room to serve Henry a steaming cup of hot chocolate, then asks him what the living situation will be when he and Mrs. Garrett get hitched. Henry looks put out and is all, "Excuse me?" then tells Mrs. Garrett how miffed he is at her for telling the girls about his marriage proposal. Tootie ignores his pissy displeasure and assures him he has their blessing (though by now it's probably been rescinded from Jo, Blair, and Natalie). An irked Henry haughtily tells Mrs. Garrett that these girls have far too much to say about their lives...and Mrs. Garrett quietly tells Natalie to head off to the rally without her 'cause she's going to need some one-on-one, breakup time with Henry.
Mrs. Garrett says, "We need to talk" and admonishes Henry for acting like such an assbag to her beloved Facts gals. She says she's gotten to know him better over the last few days and has concluded that he's too much of a whiny fussbudget for her to ever consider permanently hooking up with. She adds that they've never discussed any feelings of love that exist/don't exist between them, and Henry waves a dismissive hand in the air and says that love is for the young and that it's stupid 'cause it drives people to craziness. When Mrs. Garrett officially declines his proposal, he asks her if she'd be interested in shacking up with him, and she shakes her head in a hell no! fashion, but then softens the rejection by adding, "I'm not that hip." She tells him she's going to try to catch up with Natalie so she can attend the Save the Whales rally...but before she can make a break for it, Henry honks his horn and asks for a kiss, then explains that he'd like to know what he'll be missing - even though they already got into some heavy smooching action just a few scenes ago. For whatever reason she agrees to a goodbye kiss, then asks, "How's your heart?" and the two chuckle at the deft way she was able to dump him like yesterday's news without any hard feelings on his end.
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