“Oh, it’s nothing,” said Charlotte nervously. “I’m just clumsy… I tripped on the area rug when I got out of bed this morning and banged my head on the armoire when I tried to catch my balance.”
“Wow, that’s quite a shiner,” said DiDi. “How do you feel? Have you been to the doctor? Do you need me to take you? Would you rather cancel the meeting for another time?
"In answer to your questions," said Charlotte: “Fine...Yes...No... and NO!”
“So you’ve been to the doctor?
“Well, not exactly,” said Charlotte. "Clive called her right after it happened and I’m following the instruction she gave him...to keep ice on the eye and just ‘shake it off’.”
“Shake it off?” asked DiDi. “That was her professional advice? What does that mean, exactly?”
“Oh, you know," said Charlotte, “Not to take it – or myself – so seriously...to just get on with things as normal.”
“Un, hunh...” said DiDi, trying hard not to sound suspicious, “you said Clive talked to her...did you get to talk to her at all?
“I talked to her and that was enough,” said Clive, suddenly appearing from around the corner.
Without missing a beat, DiDi checked her concerns and turned on the charm.
“Oh, Clive, I’m sure you attended to Charlotte as devotedly as any husband could, but it’s a MOM thing, you know? We Moms tend to be very protective...even of other people’s children.”
“Well, no, I don’t know, actually, since I was sent to off to boarding school at a very early age...but I do look forward to finding out someday, soon, when Charlotte becomes a mother.”
“Charlotte! Are you...?” asked DiDi.
“Oh, no...not yet,” said Charlotte shyly.
“But it’s certainly not for lack of trying, is it, darling?” said Clive with a smile (that looked almost like a sneer), as he kissed Charlotte on the forehead.
“Well, ladies, this morning’s incident has already made me late for my meeting, so let me say ‘adieu’ and be off. DiDi, I trust that I’m leaving Charlotte in good hands with you since you’re a...mother.
Somehow “mother” lost all its maternal feelings when Clive said it.
“Sure thing!” promised DiDi, attempting an ingratiating smile.
Clive turned to DiDi to shake her hand. Suddenly DiDi saw an opportunity...
“I hate to be a ‘mother’ again, Clive, but hold still for a minute; it appears that in attending to Charlotte, you were unable to properly attend to yourself.”
“Oh, it’s nothing, just a few stray hairs on your shoulder...here, let me brush them off for you. We can’t let Skye and Raven Whitney’s son-in-law go to a meeting un-groomed.”
Before Clive could protest, DiDi swept into action...literally.
Sweeping two stray hairs from Clive’s shoulder, DiDi quickly linked arms with him and began walking with him to the door.
“There you go...now you’re perfect,” said DiDi, as she opened the door and ushered Clive out. “And don’t give Charlotte a second thought, I’ve got everything under control.”
Closing the door, DiDi leaned against it and pulled a plastic sandwich bag out of her pocket. Tucking Clive’s two stray hairs carefully inside, she gingerly tucked it back into her pocket and strolled confidently back into Charlotte’s library, assured that her true mission had been accomplished.
“Now, Charlotte, m’dear...where were we?”
To be continued...
Mariann Aalda played DiDi Bannister-Stoner on Edge of Night from 1981 to its final episode on December 28, 1984. She also played Grace Battles on Guiding Light and Lena Hart on Sunset Beach on daytime and starred in the primetime series The Royal Family and First & 10 and recurred or guest-starred on such shows as Designing Women, Grace Under Fire and The Parkers, among others. With a penchant for comedy, she's also done stand-up in clubs across the country and is the co-creator of M.O.I.S.T.! -- the "sex-istential" comedy-with-music celebrating the seasoned woman -- which she co-wrote/produced/performs with Iona Morris (ex-Fiona Griffin, As The World Turns).