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Karma Cleanser

Will it come back to bite you?


Dear Karma Cleanser:

You probably don't get many responses to the answers that you give, but I wanted to update you on a situation that you gave advice on a few weeks ago ("Just Curious," Aug. 23).

My girlfriend had found $100 at the mall, and turned it in to show her sons the right thing to do, even though they could have used the money. Your advice was: "No worries: Her next discovery will catch you both off guard -- in a good way." How right you were. A couple of weeks later, she spoke to the head of mall security, who told her that no one had inquired about the money. He also said that if no one claimed it in 30 days, that the money would go to her, which was exactly the opposite of what the last guard had told her.

Exactly two weeks later, they called to say she could pick up the money any time she wanted. Which was great news because it came just in time for the trip that she had planned for the kids before the school year started. Also, she had car trouble just before the trip and almost the entire cost of the repair was covered by warranty, which we all know very rarely happens!

I just wanted to say thanks for the wonderful advice and a great lesson learned for me and the kids.
---- Still Curious

Advice that actually applied and a warranty that covered something useful? Our heart is doubly warmed.

Dear Karma Cleanser:

A close friend of mine is in a committed, monogamous relationship. And cheated (sort of) on his boyfriend. He regrets it and actually feels terrible about it.

The boyfriend is considering whether to leave him.

This morning the boyfriend emailed me out of the blue in what seemed like an attempt to organize his thoughts and explained to me that he's going to give my friend another chance.

What's my obligation? Do I write this guy back?

I don't feel like I'm being asked to take sides or anything. They both seem to want reconciliation, and they both agree my friend was 100 percent in the wrong.

And I do genuinely like the boyfriend and want it to work out.

It's just icky. I don't want to tell my friend that his boyfriend emailed me, but I feel weird emailing with the boyfriend behind my friend's back.
---- E-Malady

Your primary obligation lies with your close friend. For the sake of future social lubrication, you should respond to the boyfriend's message, but do everything in your power to remain neutral. And let your friend know that the communication is taking place, lest he suddenly project his own pattern of infidelity on his wronged partner.

Been bad?

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