Author Archives: Melissa Doak


Melissa Doak

Melissa Doak lives with her partner and their two children along with a few too many small animals in upstate New York. A refugee from academe, she writes mainly educational materials full-time from her home office, making her rather unfortunately always available to wash baseball uniforms, whip up cookies for a bake sale, and make sure dinner is taken care of.

The Surprise Adoption: It Happened out of the Blue

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Okay, you’re probably thinking there’s no such thing as a surprise adoption. After all, in order to adopt you must do a variety of things that you can hardly do without meaning to. Things like showing caseworkers your home. Leaving your fingerprints at the local police station for posterity. Clearing out the bedroom you’ve been […]

When a Daughter is Embarrassed by Her Lesbian Moms

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“You know what Miss Feldman told us today,” said a conspiratorial voice from the back seat. “She’s gay… EWWWW!!!” At the outset I have to say I have changed the names here to protect the guilty. The girl who made this pronouncement — let’s call her Maria, shall we? — was my daughter’s most recent […]

A Lesbian Mom’s Awkward Sex Ed Talk

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I was only five years old when my brother was born. It was my mother’s growing belly that prompted my questions about where babies come from. My mother gave me both more information than I needed, as a kindergartner, and less. Really, I think some analogy about seeds would have satisfied me — I was […]

Black Cat Nostalgia

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“Next Halloween, I’m gonna be Missy Elliot!” “I know what I’m going to be for Halloween—a ghoul!” “I want to be a mad scientist!” So generally goes the conversation as we’re sitting around the table eating Turkey the fourth Thursday in November. We have an unspoken rule in our house – eat as much candy […]

The Backpack

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The note was in a pile of crud I had fished out of bottom of her backpack in an attempt to cram two three-ring binders, ten two-pocket folders, a pencil case, a novel, a lunchbox, and a partridge and a pear tree into it. So far I had found two reading worksheets (not done), several […]

Saving Face: What to do when your girlfriend could care less about California

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I clicked on the BBC news. Hordes of couples were celebrating on the steps of San Francisco City Hall. I whooped. “Look, Saads!” I pointed to the T.V. “California ruled lesbian and gay people can get married. Everyone’s lining up!” “So,” she said, “I don’t really care.” That pretty much took the wind out of […]

A Boy-Girl Thing?

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The gang of kids came wandering up as I was attempting to cut the weeds out of the ditch so my neighbor’s yard wouldn’t flood the next time it so much as sprinkled. I tried to look like I could actually hold the weed-whacker up for more than ten seconds at a time as I […]

Learning a Strawberry Flavored Lesson

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“Hey Missy,” said Vicky Porter, lying on the mat next to mine. “Do you think we’ll get ice cream for snack today?” Our kindergarten class was housed with the other kindergartens in a small trailer set apart from the “big” school. We could hear the noises of bulldozers and backhoes every day while construction crews […]

Beating My Head Against a Wall; Or, Whatever Happened to the Separation of Church and State?

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At times like these all kinds of clichés run through my head. I’m definitely beating my head against the wall. Or chanting the mantra “same *%$#@ problem, different *%$#@ day.” (Fill in the blanks depending on how bad your mood is.) Or cursing the g*#d@#* f&*%$#* white liberals. (Oh wait, I am one of those. […]

In Search of Romance

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I am a hopeless romantic. I’m downright addicted. I own every Bogart and Bacall movie on DVD, and can recite the most flirtatious lines at will. I’m right with Audrey Hepburn as she falls in love with William Holden and Humphrey Bogart in Sabrina. I myself shamelessly fell for a former flame when I saw […]