Karma Cleanser 

Will karma come back to bite me?

Dear Karma Cleanser:

I was at my friend Eddie's party and he introduced me to his next door neighbor, an attractive woman who I'll call "Diane." I was freshly out of a two-year relationship and not looking to get involved again, but Diane was coming on strong. We talked for a long time, told each other dirty jokes, then wound up having some of the best sex of my life back at her apartment.

The next week, Eddie commented that Diane had spent the night in his roommate Karl's bedroom. Karl is also my friend, and he was out of town the weekend of the party. Eddie never told him what happened.

At this point, you're thinking it's the classic "Should I tell my friend I boinked his girlfriend?" problem. But that's only half the story. I continued to date Diane even after she started seeing Karl, being careful not to park my car in a place where he or Eddie would see it. And I never mentioned that I knew about Karl and her.

This went on for maybe a month before Diane sent me an e-mail saying she needed space and not to call her again.

It gets worse. My other friend, Laurie, had done some digging and figured out that Diane and her girlfriend have been producing podcasts about their dating lives. I listened and, sure enough, it was partly about me, Karl and even her past with Eddie, which no one knew about.

I realize that probably .001 percent of the people I know will ever hear her podcast. Am I wrong to be angry and embarrassed, or is this just karma in action?

— Oral History

What's your damage here? Diane broadcasting your sexcapades sounds no worse than you sneaking around your friends' backs trying not to get busted next door. You're right to be embarrassed, but save the anger for Eddie, who seems to be the puppet master in this whole twisted little podcast pageant.



Dear Karma Cleanser:

I cheated on my boyfriend with a guy I met in a coffee shop. It was a one-time thing, no strings attached, and I felt horrible about it later. I didn't tell my boyfriend.

A few months later, my doctor told me that I had contracted herpes, which I did not even realize was still around. I'm sure I've passed it to my boyfriend by now, but I don't want to tell him. Either way, my karma is obviously a wreck.

—Scar Tissue

A wise performer, we think it was Justin Bond of Kiki & Herb, once said, "Herpes was the preamble to the constitution that is AIDS." He was being both flip and factual at once. A little coffee-shop snog sounds innocent enough, but there can be serious consequences for sampling the cream and sugar. Tell your boyfriend now before things get worse.


Been bad? karmacleanser@gmail.com.

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