Dear Karma Cleanser:
So I'm at a certain, popular pasta restaurant and I order the special. My total comes up to about $5.70. I hand the cashier a $20 and this cat hands me back two tens and some change. Because I'm in my "Broke Period," I kept the money. I went back and bought something for $1.50 and told him to keep the change because I felt bad.
My question is this: If I accepted the money, is this bad karma? I mean, my intentions weren't to get money out of a café I was damn near raised in. A friend of mine says that it's all good because I gave money after I received it. I know asking these questions is somewhat useless seeing as how I'm holding a President Hamilton that doesn't belong to me, but I kinda need another perspective on this.
-- Using My Noodle
We smiled when we saw your capitalization choices for "Broke Period," which places the era alongside the Great Depression or the Enlightenment. Anyway, your friend is misguided. Tipping an extra 50 cents won't make up for taking free pasta (plus change), though we'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe the universe threw you a windfall as a carryover until the Depression, er, Broke Period subsides. Given your long history of frequenting this restaurant, you now have a duty to uphold. From here forward, your tip to the noble pasta-slingers must hereby be doubled, lest your spinach tortellini be forever tainted.
Dear Karma Cleanser:
I enjoy hanging out with a friend I met recently through work. We've been intimate over the past month and grown closer. I see her falling in love with me, but I don't share the same feelings toward her.
She is open about how she feels, so I am open with her that I do not see her the same way. I do enjoy spending time with her. Not a lot, just about one night a week where we get together and are intimate with each other. We chat over the Internet everyday. Both of us cherish this "relationship," but differently. Lately I have become worried that I'm doing something evil not offering her a commitment. She is struggling to replace a three-year relationship and figure out how I fit into her life with her kids.
Me, I'm a very solitary person who likes a lot of alone time but enjoys sharing intimacy every once in a while after a seven-year drought of non-dating. This is becoming increasingly more complex as expectations and desires grow, hers apparently much more than my own. What should I do?
-- Not Really My Type
If she's not really your type, then why are you sleeping with her? There's nothing wrong with not wanting a relationship. Problems only pop up when both parties aren't on the same page, which is clearly the case with your "friend." Nix the physical stuff now before you both get hurt.
Been bad? firstname.lastname@example.org.