Karma Cleanser 

Will it come back to bite you?

Dear Karma Cleanser:

If I could have just one wish come true in life, it would be to become a monk at a small Catholic monastery that is on top of a mountain in Big Sur, Calif. The only thing is, I'm a woman, and the convent thing just isn't my style. Do you think it would negatively affect my karma to write a letter to the Pope and ask him to make an exception?
Holy Conundrum

Bless you, sister, for your curious nature and conscientious soul, one that would seek permission from a "holy" institution that seems bent on keeping your gender in the back of the proverbial bus. If it's a monastic life you seek, then why target an unattainable (and untenable) cloister; surely there are other mountain-top retreats in orders more welcoming. Curious, too, how you bring karma into this question. That alone reveals a worldview wider than the average Catholic dogma's. Since you seem set on California, may we humbly suggest a meditation retreat at Green Gulch Farm before you make any rash life changes you'll later regret?

Dear Karma Cleanser:

My "girlfriend" got mad at me, and now she won't talk to me because I read her e-mail and told her about it. She was checking her e-mail on my laptop and closed the lid, thinking everything would close down. However, when I opened it later that night, I found her inbox glaring right at me.

Noticing some e-mails from her ex-boyfriend, I felt it was my duty to read them. This girl and I have been on and off all summer, and she's been back and forth between me and her ex. So she wasn't really cheating. Was it wrong to read her e-mail?
E-mail Snooper

It's a telling detail the way you phrase your crime: "I read her e-mail and told her about it," the implication being that had you never brought it up, she wouldn't know the difference. Equally telling is your use of "girlfriend" in quotes, which speaks volumes about the shaky foundation of the relationship. Clearly, you've given up already. Don't blame it on the e-mails or her ex; face the fact that you're looking for a reason to cut bait and move on.

Been bad? karmacleanser@gmail.com.

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