When I’m in the mood to play Domestic Diva I pull out my sexy pink apron and make an honest to goodness balanced meal, from scratch. Now, in order to pull this off, I usually need some entertainment, and when I’m feeling all Stepford there’s nothing like a DVR’d episode of Oprah to get me through the moment. I’ll admit that the topics on the Queen of Daytime have left me a little cold in recent years, but there are still some I enjoy.

The other day she had Ellen DeGeneres and Portia deRossi on the show. How could I resist Ellen?

Mom, Is That Really Her Wife?

With my nine-year-old daughter in the room, you had to know the question was coming. My parenting philosophy is pretty much this: if they’re asking, they’re ready to know the answer. And I’m not one of those mothers who censor every bit of media that comes into the house. I’m not letting them watch Nip/Tuck with me, but if it’s on the nightly news or a daytime talk show, it’s fair game.

“Mom, is that really her wife?” My daughter was confused.

“Yes,” I answered. “Why?”

“It’s just weird is all.”

I bought time trying to figure out what to say. “It’s weird? How so?”

“Because they’re both girls. Why are they married?”

I thought another minute before I decided to answer with the facts. “They’re homosexual, which means they were both born to fall in love with a girl, instead of a boy.”


“I don’t know. It’s just the way God made them.”

Explaining Homosexuality to Kids in a Hetero Household

For me it’s not a moral issue. You’re either gay or you’re not. Sort of like you’re short or tall, have green eyes or blue, long eyelashes or short.

When my daughter still looked confused I told her that most people (and who even knows if this is true?) are born to fall in love with people of the opposite sex, but others are not. I told her not to be confused about it because if, like Ellen and Portia, she were born to fall in love with a girl, she would know that by now. And so would I.

For me, it only got uncomfortable when she was oohing and ahhing over the actual wedding photos, which had less to do with the participants than with the tulle-flowered-candlelit spectacle of it all, which we all know that has nothing whatsoever to do with marriage. It got really scary when I tucked her into bed and she told me she was getting married when she was twenty-four.

“Oh, no, Sweetie," I said. "That’s too young. You should wait until you’re thirty — at least.”

“How old were you when you got married, Mom?”

Quietly, sheepishly, I answered. “Twenty-four.”

But the world was different then. And my daughter and I, we’re very different girls.