Karma Cleanser 

Will it come back to bite you?

Dear Karma Cleanser:

My roommate, who I have lived with for a year, threw a big birthday party for me. I didn't ask her to do it. She invited like 50 of our friends, bought a keg and put the whole thing together, more or less.

After it was over, she ended up in the hospital. She collapsed the Monday after the party and we had to call the paramedics. The doctor diagnosed her with exhaustion and dehydration. She was given an IV and then sent home the next day.

Now she wants me to feel bad for her. Is it terrible that I don't? I didn't ask for the party. I also felt strangely relieved when she was out of the house for two days. Rather than feeling sorry, I've realized that my roommate is needy. I feel like I'm a terrible, ungrateful person for saying this. But it's the way I feel.

– Worst Birthday Yet

Who is your roommate, Lindsay Lohan? Don't wallow in guilt over your feelings here, because sometimes it takes a meltdown to make us face up to the bitter little truths that are lurking inside. It sounds like your roommate is starved for attention and approval (again, à la Lindsay), and kudos to you for greeting her pity party with skepticism. At the same time, there's no need to go cold. Don't be a Mean Girl, but maybe it's time to tell this Drama Queen to Get a Clue. Also, um, Freaky Friday.

Dear Karma Cleanser:

I have been in a long-distance relationship with a man from Britain. We met while I was in his country for a study-abroad program. I fell for the accent, his sophistication and the way he treated me with such respect. Nice change from the men in the backwoods college town where I live. He wants me to consider moving overseas when I finish my degree at the end of this year. I am weighing my options.

So what's the problem? I am upset by the way he talks about America. He is very down on the war in Iraq and our administration. I share many of his views, and yet I also get offended when he launches into a tirade against our country. It's hard not to take personally.

Should I stand up for myself and risk losing the relationship? What if he is "the one"?

– Yankee Diddle

Call it a coincidence, but we read your note mere minutes into previewing the new Rufus Wainwright album, with its refrain, "I'm so tired of you, America." Seems the whole planet is sick of the States these days, so let's not hold that against your British beau. Rather, ask yourself why his views irk you so. You didn't start the war in Iraq, did you? If he is "the one" (a construct we don't really buy into, by the way), it should take more than a little verbal rabble-rousing to rattle your cage.

Been bad? karmacleanser@gmail.com.


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