Karma Cleanser 

Will it come back to bite you?

Dear Karma Cleanser:

My friend has left me in a strange situation. It is a long story, but the short account is that his mother recently had surgery, and during her recovery she is staying at his house to recuperate.

Because he did not want his mom to find anything in the house that might offend her, he asked if I could help him clean up his place. So I ended up with a large box full of porn and a bong. A really big bong. Where he bought this thing, I have no idea, but it is huge.

His mom had her surgery and she is now doing better. My friend has been worried sick, although things seem to be looking up. I, however, am a disaster. I find myself watching the porn and using the bong every day when I come home from work. It has destroyed my social life.

I know you're thinking, "What does this have to do with karma?" Well, I think I deserve some good karma for agreeing to house the items for my friend. But do those good points then get wiped out by my own indulgences?

-- Puff'n'stiff

Did the friend say, "Keep this stuff for me -- but whatever you do, don't use it!"? Probably not. But because your behavior is interfering with other relationships, sounds like you should slow down on both the smoking and the self love. A little bit of either is usually fine, but at this rate you'll be the next one needing surgery. And really, nobody likes a sticky bong.

Dear Karma Cleanser:

My wife wants me to go with her to visit her family for the holidays. Did I mention that her family hates me? Her brothers seem to like me fine, but her parents are passive-aggressive in their distance. Her grandfather, however, dislikes me most of all. He will say hello and then nothing else to me. He didn't come to our wedding and has said that if we ever have children, he will not acknowledge them.

Instead of doing the family trip, I have the chance to go on a fishing trip with some (single) guy friends. I know that her grandfather is very ill and probably won't be around next Christmas. Is it really so wrong of me to skip this last trip, knowing that the person who hates me will probably be dead next year?

-- Hate Bait

Go on the family trip. If the old guy really does keel over, which seems likely, you'll later regret not giving him one last chance to clear the air. And, by the way, don't tell people you're going on a "fishing trip" with buddies. After Brokeback Mountain, it just sounds suspect.

Been bad? karmacleanser@gmail.com.


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