DEAR AMY: My 18-year-old son "Bob" is leaving for his freshman year of college in August. Bob just received his roommate assignment, and after "friending" him on Facebook, Bob discovered that his roomie is gay.
Bob has four older siblings who have made it successfully through college and dorm life. They've had roommates who were of different races, different cultures and different religions, and have gotten along fine. Bob would prefer a straight roommate.
When I called the university to ask if Bob could be assigned another roomie, the housing director intimated that I was persecuting the gay roommate and that if my son didn't start out rooming with the gay student, then Bob could go to another school. He can put in for a room change during the first two weeks of school if he wants to switch.
I was taken aback. The university (a Jesuit school) has no policy for gay/straight roommates, other than that they don't permit discrimination. Bob will room with the assigned roommate.
In doing an informal poll of my older children and their friends, I discovered that all but one had a gay roommate and didn't stay roommates for long.
Is it discrimination when a straight man doesn't want to room with a gay man? Do you think schools should have a policy about this?
— Worried Mom
DEAR WORRIED: Evidently you understand and applaud your kids' ability to room with people of every background, race and creed, but you and your family draw the line at sexual orientation.
I agree with your school's policy not to discriminate. You could help your son by assuming that he will have a successful roommate experience, but let him know what his options are if he doesn't.
Sometimes students are held hostage by their roommates' nighttime schedule, alcohol use or indiscriminate dating life. That's why the school permits students to switch roommates after a two-week trial.
"My roommate is gay" in and of itself isn't a valid reason to switch in advance, any more than, "my roommate is Asian" would be.
This should be your son's issue to sort out on his own.
DEAR AMY: Is it possible to be in love with two people at the same time?
I've been married for six years to a wonderful woman, but I have also fallen hard for one of my co-workers.
We went on a business trip together recently and became intimate.
People joke about having a "work wife" or "work husband," but I feel like I really do.
It's nice to have someone I can be close to both at work and at home.
The problem is that now she's starting to talk about me leaving my wife for her. My marriage is great, so I have no intention of ending it, but I feel as if I love my co-worker too and don't want to give up either woman.
What should I tell her if she keeps persisting?
DEAR DENVER: You don't love two women at the same time. In fact, it's quite obvious that you don't really love either of these women.
If you really loved your wife, you wouldn't cheat on her. If you really loved your "work wife," you wouldn't involve her in an adulterous relationship.
I suggest that you be honest with your "wives," telling each that you are more interested in your own needs than in theirs. Tell them that you like things just as they are and have no intention of ending either relationship.
I'd love to find out what happens next.
DEAR AMY: "Faced Out" wrote to you, wondering how to manage unwanted invitations on Facebook. She needs to realize that you control it; it doesn't control you! She should change the account settings for e-mail notifications to "off." When she gets continuous invitations from one person, she should officially "ignore" them on the site. She shouldn't worry that she'll hurt her feelings; it's only Facebook.
— "Facing" It
DEAR FACING: I see a new T-shirt slogan on the horizon: "It's only Facebook."
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