Our chauffer, Rick, arrives with Susan after her facelift procedure. Rick sneaks her in the back door. Susan has the typical padded white gauze helmet dressing, plastic see-through tubes dripping with blood, pinned to the side hanging like earrings, and swollen black and blue eyes. The nurse makes her comfortable in bed and as she leaves, I go into my “Welcome To The Hidden Garden” speech and ask for any special requests, like dinner from Spago’s—this was a joke to lighten the mood. (Yes, we did order from Beverly Hill’s restaurants, but not on the first night.) This guest then says she’s expecting her husband. Although we discourage visitors that first afternoon, it’s hard to keep husbands away, so I’m not surprised when minutes later the doorbell rings.
“I’m here to see my wife,” the man at the door says.
So I quickly escorted him into Susan’s room. Fortunately, the ice packs were hiding the black and blue eyes and she’s resting comfortably, in a semi-coherent state as the amnesia wears off. He gives her a little kiss on the forehead, the only part of her face that had any facial skin exposed and he takes her hand in his. I give them their privacy as he begins to make small talk, “…the kids are O.K…..” As I’m closing the door I heard her answer in a soft groggy voice mentioning something about, ”…the roasted chicken in the fridge”.
Minutes later the doorbell rings, again. This time there’s a man behind a huge bouquet of flowers.
“I’m Susan’s husband,” he says.
“Oh!” trying to hide my surprise.
He follows me into the front sitting room and up the stairs to Susan’s room where I lean in and whisper to the man sitting next to Susan:
“I’m so sorry, sir. This is not your wife.”
The second husband sits down, not losing a beat continues the conversation, Susan totally unaware of the switch.I apologize to the first husband taking him to his wife also in the same white helmet dressing with tubes pinned to the dressing like dangling earrings and resting with ice packs hiding her bruised eyes.
“I’m so sorry.” I say again as I don’t know what else to say.
“No problem”, he says looking at her, “They look exactly alike.”
In reality with all that dressing material and swelling, there’s very little to go on as to who is who. And then within minutes another new arrival. Another Susan clone.