Karma Cleanser 

Dear Karma Cleanser:
This sounds like a would-be "Seinfeld" episode, but I'm puzzled by the behavior of a friend. (I've brought this up to mutual friends and they're equally perplexed.)

I'll be somewhere, she'll walk in, hug everyone she knows and greet me with, "Hi! Great to see you!" but no hug. A few times when this happened, I made a move to hug her but she backed away. Now, I have excellent hygiene and there's no question of my having a lesbian agenda (we are both hetero females who've been in happy, monogamous relationships with men since forever).

She and I have been pals for years, get along wonderfully, have lots in common and have never had an argument. Although I've tried to forget about it, I'm confused and hurt to the point where this is starting to fester and taint my feelings about this friendship. My self-esteem is suffering as a result. I find the thought of confronting her awkward and embarrassing. Anything I say would sound childishly petty.

Could this be bad karma coming back to haunt me from a long-forgotten past transgression? Will my growing negative feelings cause even worse karma? How do I break the cycle?-- Untouchable

The Karma Cleanser can't relate, because we hate hugs. (Sorry, even enlightened ones have their quirks.) We took your problem to a more touchy-feely friend known for her bearlike embraces, however. Her thoughts: Body language says plenty, and this person's odd habit of skipping you in the squeezing ritual reveals that there's something amiss in this relationship. Maybe it's bad karma, or some old bones between you that were never properly buried. You might not like the sound of a confrontation, but perhaps it's time you asked your friend directly what's her beef with you.

Dear Karma Cleanser:
I have been "special friends" with this guy for about a year. We were each other's rebound relationship. Although he has moved back in with his girlfriend and impregnated her, we are still "friends."

Recently while at my house, he fell asleep after a "long" night and missed the call of his girlfriend going into labor and having his child. I don't feel guilty because it was his responsibility to be ready for her call. I do feel guilty for still being with him.

Is my karma screwed for life, or is there a way to possibly redeem myself?-- Confused

Your karma is not screwed for life, so long as you stop screwing your "friend." He's got a girlfriend and now a child. Take the hint and be a real friend by kicking this guy to the curb.

Been bad? karma@creativeloafing.com.


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