Karma Cleanser 

Dear Karma Cleanser:
I was born with an obvious birthmark on my lower jaw. I never really think about it, having lived with it for 22 years. Sometimes strangers will point it out and ask how it got there. Mostly, people are polite enough not to mention it.

At a friend's party the other night, a woman was telling fortunes by palm reading. She looked at my hand for a minute then noticed my birthmark. She told me the mark was a sign that I had "done some wrong" in a previous life, and that I had a tough life ahead of me because of this.

I left the house feeling very shaken and freaked out. I don't so much buy the reincarnation thing, even though I do read your column every week. I want to know how I can fix the wrong, just in case she was right.
— Marked for Life

Regular readers of the column know that the Karma Cleanser has remained rather tight-lipped on the reincarnation question. We're much more focused on the sins and outs of the here and now - which are usually dramatic enough without adding in the screwups of previous lives. You're better off looking at your birthmark not as a blight from the unknowable past but as proof that you are a unique and brilliant soul. Either that, or it's the universe telling you not to waste time with palm readers at parties.

Dear Karma Cleanser:
A few years back I become friends with a girl, "Nora," who lived in the same neighborhood as me. Nice enough friend, except that she very fast became a little too demanding. I'm the kind of person who likes to constantly meet new people, and once I meet them I don't usually develop deep friendships with them. Nora wanted a best friend, or that's the way it looked at the time. When she called, I started making up excuses and not hanging out with her as much. Eventually she got the message.

Now, a few years later, I'm in a similar predicament. I met another friend, "Stella," who I really clicked with. But every time I call her, she makes some excuse why we can't hang out. I'm starting to feel like I'm paying the price for being a bad friend with Nora back in the day. I don't want to be the clingy friend who calls all the time. Should I just chalk this one up to karma and get over it?
— Call Me Back

Needy Nora wasn't the type of friend you wanted, yet you obviously don't do too well with independent chicks like Stella. We're not sure this is bad karma so much as it's bad timing. There are a million and two factors involved in getting any new friendship off the ground, half of which has to do with your mindframe and social needs at the time of your meeting. Learn the lesson from Nora that clingy friends are a drag, but don't sacrifice your integrity in a fruitless pursuit of someone who doesn't have time for you.

Been bad? karmacleanser@gmail.com.



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