Dear Short Answers >> When I was growing up, just about everybody was heterosexual with a few oddballs here and there. Today, it seems like there are a million different categories from gay to straight to bisexual to transgender. How do kids today figure out what they are? Can't we just go back to the way things were? It was a whole heck of a lot simpler for everybody.

— John Doe

DEAR JOHN >> First, we have to say that it might have been simpler for you, but guaranteed, not for everybody, as you stated. And no, the genie is out of the bottle and we are never going back to "the way things were."

Dear Short Answers >> I have a friend who is very needy of my time. She calls nearly every day and if I don't answer will keep calling or texting until I pick up. She then proceeds to tell me every detail of her life. I can't completely cut her off as we run in the same social circles and are also on a community board together. She's a good person with a warm heart but I just can't give her the time and attention she needs. She's also very sensitive so I don't wish to hurt her feelings. I just need a bit of distance.

— Pamela Needs Space


DEAR PAMELA >> We hear you, maybe she will, too. First, try not to engage so fully when she tells you her story. Say, "Gee, I wish I could help" or simply "I feel you" and say no more. If she doesn't back off, go to plan B, which might go like this: "My own life is about all I can handle right now, sorry." Offer no advice. Or suggest Short Answers!

Best forgotten

Dear Short Answers >> I went to a big party last week where a few of the men got very, very drunk — which is not unusual in this town. One of them burst in while I was in the bathroom and became very sexually aggressive. He was so drunk that it wasn't difficult for me to get past him, but I was furious and left the party immediately.

Since that night, I have seen him a couple of times and he has said nothing. No apology, nothing. Should I bring it up? Maybe he doesn't remember because he was so drunk. But I don't believe that is a good excuse. I feel that I will never be able to be civil to him again until he apologizes. This is a small town so I can't avoid him in the future. What do you think?

— Offended

DEAR O >> Forget about it. Either he doesn't remember or would like not to. No reason to rub his nose in what was an obvious and embarrassing gaff.

Bye, bye, bunny

Dear Short Answers >> Is it horrible to have a 2-year old and feel no compulsion to raise her with the Santa Claus/Easter bunny/tooth fairy myths? My husband and I have a blast with her and do all kinds of fun, crazy things, but I hate doing things just because everyone thinks you're supposed to.

— Killjoy

DEAR KILLJOY >> It's your kid and you get to decide what myths, superstitions and lies to perpetuate. You even get to invent your own if it suits you.

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