Life is complicated. Short Answers isn't.

WHO SAID IT WOULD BE EASY?

Dear Short Answers: I know that it's tough for a kid, even a college graduate, to get a job these days. But is it better to let your kid live at home after college so they can "find themselves," or should I kick the little birds out of the nest?

Mama Bird

Dear Mama: Yes, encourage flight. Kicking them out of the nest does not presume a soft landing, but it is the way of the world. A LITTLE GIVE AND TAKE

Dear Short Answers: I don't want to get too gross here, but my boyfriend only likes certain kinds of sex (the kinkier kinds) and refuses to indulge me when I ask about the more normal stuff -- he says it's boring and it doesn't turn him on. I'm worried, first of all, that we can never have children (because that's one kind of sex he doesn't like). I'm happy to experiment, but am not sure I want to give up just plain old regular sex. Do you think he might not be the right guy for me? He says that years from now, I will thank him for this.

Not So Happy

Dear Not So: Your willingness to explore outside your comfort zone is commendable and his unwillingness to engage in what you like is concerning. We presume he means you will "thank him later" for his inventiveness, but you would like to be able to thank him now for being more attuned to your wishes.

OPERATIVE WORD:
GENTLE

Dear Short Answers: I recently had a child and am fortunate enough to be able to afford a full-time nanny so that I could go back to work. Unfortunately, one of my best friends who also has a young child is still trying to balance being a mom and working full-time but can't afford a nanny. So she uses a combination of her mom, her husband and a couple of baby sitters. A while back, she had an emergency and asked if she could drop off her baby at my house since the nanny is always there. Of course I said yes, and it worked out fine. Now this has become a fairly regular occurrence. There is always an excuse -- an emergency at work, her baby sitter didn't show up, something like that. I hate to be mean, but I think my child deserves the attention of the nanny that I am paying for, and I'm not running a day care center. How do I tell my friend "gently" that her emergencies are not my responsibility?

Want to Help, But ...

Dear But: We hear you loud and clear. There are two ways to do this: Direct: "I pay for exclusive child care and that is what I wish." Or Helpful: "Let's talk about your situation and see if I can offer some suggestions." Relying on friends and family is rarely a good long-term situation. Be clear about exactly what you are willing to offer. "Not much" is an acceptable answer but perhaps some sharing could benefit all.

HUH?

Dear Short Answers: How do you feel about a casual email to a guy for a semi-good reason? Just to try to start a friendship? Is it the same as calling a guy?

Amy

Dear Amy: This is 2014. You can vote, work, have sex with whomever you choose and yes, you can email, call or knock on his door.

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