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Karma Cleanser 

Deviance from postrelationship diplomacy

Dear Karma Cleanser:

An ex-boyfriend keeps e-mailing disturbing stuff to my work e-mail. We dated for seven months then were able to split on amicable terms. I could say that we're very close friends. I worry that he still has feelings for me.

He's deliberate about what he sends me, like advice about dysfunctional relationships, or tips on environmental issues, a topic we are passionate about.

Recently the e-mails have gotten darker and weirder. One of them had to do with Kermit the Frog watching a video in which two women did some disgusting stuff with an ice cream cone. I opened the message at work and was floored that he didn't warn me about what it was going to contain. I was pissed off.

I don't want to tell him to stop e-mailing me. Some of the messages are really awesome. If I tell him to quit it, he might stop talking to me altogether. Should I just break it off now to save myself future embarrassment?

– My Face Turned Green

You need to tell your ex in no uncertain terms to nix the bizarre messages, or at least only send the raunchy stuff to your personal address. In a broader sense, it sounds like the guy is way clueless about postrelationship diplomacy – and also screaming for your attention. Let the delete button be your shield and sword.

Dear Karma Cleanser:

I have never noticed karma in my own life or given much thought to it. I would not call myself an atheist or a believer. I guess I am an agnostic who is somewhat curious about spirituality.

After I started thinking about karma and what it might mean, I have noticed the word showing up everywhere I look. My brother left a book in my car that has the word "karma" in the title. I rented a movie that had a discussion about karma (the movie called it "the golden rule"). And then a co-worker burned me a copy of a CD he was listening to at work that I liked. The name of it turned out to be The Karma Collection.

I'm not really sure where to go with this.

– What Comes Around?

Your next assignment is to Google the word "synchronicity." Carl Jung called it "the coming together of inner and outer events in a way that cannot be explained by cause and effect and that is meaningful to the observer," but don't get bogged down in any unwieldy Wikipedia entries or distracted by all the Police albums. Zero in on the word "meaningful." Welcome to the mystery.

Been bad?

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