Oprah Talks to Bette Midler
Oprah: I can tell that she's strong. Are you looking forward to the rest of her teenage years? I read that you had wanted to stay near New York so that you could be home with Sophie more.
Bette: I'm coming back to New York next year to do the sitcom. So far we've been doing the shows in Los Angeles because they are very elaborate, and the costume people can't get around easily in New York. With the traffic, every trip is at least half an hour.
Oprah: I know—New York traffic can drive you crazy. What has being Sophie's mother taught you?
Bette: To thank God for my husband! His presence is so calming. Don't you think he's great?
Oprah: Yes—he seems so at peace. How did you meet him?
Bette: We first met at a party; a group of us went to a concert together. I didn't see him for years after that. Then, in the early 1980s, I went to this performance-art show and he was there. He said, "I don't know if you remember me, but I met you at a show once." He took my number, but he didn't call for two years. The day he did call, I was sobbing—I was going through a bad patch. I picked up the phone, and he said, "Is this...who is this?" And I said, "This is Bette." We went out the next weekend, and a few weeks later we were married.
Oprah: Wow! So you knew he was the one that soon?
Bette: I did—and he did, too. And it was time. I was in my late thirties, and he and I both wanted to have a family. It was romantic and not romantic at the same time. Romance is an illusion. Well, romance is not a complete illusion, but it's ephemeral. It does not last....
Oprah: Unless you have the real thing to back it up. It takes a combination of things to make it work. I've interviewed thousands of women over the years, and a lot of them believe that the illusion is the real deal.
Bette: I can't believe that!
Oprah: Honest to God, I just interviewed a woman the other day who said, "I thought my marriage was going to be a full-time date." I said, "You must be kidding!" This was a 36-year-old woman who'd been married for 11 years. She said, "I thought marriage was going to be champagne and rose petals."
Bette: Good luck!
Oprah: I said, "Champagne and rose petals? First of all, rose petals are messy."
Bette: And they're dry the next day.
Oprah: And rose petals in the tub clog the drain. What a mess!
Bette: I've always said that people have unrealistic expectations.