In fact, the dirty flirts help put things in perspective. Are my nasty chats a means to keep me faithful or have I crossed a line?
-- IM Ho
Do the dirty online flirts really keep things in perspective, or are you just telling yourself that? The Karma Cleanser is of two minds. On the one hand, we think your actions hint there's something amiss in paradise, and your boys on the side are a sure sign you've got a certain itch that needs scratching. At the same time, we reject that dangerous Hollywood notion that everyone can find The One who'll make their life all sunshine and lollipops, and respect the idea that just because you've already ordered doesn't mean you can't look at the menu. Your challenge is to keep the steamy Net stuff in its proper place. Being slutty online is one thing, but how long can you keep your hands just on the keyboard?
Dear Karma Cleanser:
I'm not sure I'm cut out for working in a bar.
I recently took this bartending gig as a part-time way to make some extra cash to put toward a new car. But, I've found it hard to balance the hours with my day job. And I don't know how to handle it when my customers try to buy me drinks. I try to be polite and accept their offers, but on the other hand, I'm really not a big drinker.
When my friends come into the bar, I do sometimes slip them free drinks, but then I feel a little bad about it. I'm very honest in my day job and don't want to be known as a cheat at night. I justify it by saying that if I took everyone up on the drinks they try to buy for me, that would more than outweigh the cost of the drinks I give my friends. But maybe I'm just rationalizing. What's my problem?
-- Bar examination
Since your side job is causing you so much stress, maybe you should take that as a clue you're not cut out for playing barkeep. At any bar there's always going to be the old free-drinks-for-friends-of-the-help conundrum, and you obviously aren't up for playing that game. Sure, the money's good, but at this rate you're going to have an ulcer before you get the new ride.
Been bad? Confess and decompress to: firstname.lastname@example.org.