Dear Karma Cleanser:
This kind of thing tends to happen to me every January. I fall into a weird period just after the start of the year and I find it hard to concentrate at work. In the evenings I spend my time on the couch watching nature programs on television and eating delivery food. I don't return phone calls and don't see my friends again until February. It usually starts up around Dec. 26 and ends by about the middle of January. This year's episode feels a lot deeper than normal.
A therapist that I saw several years ago told me that I should think about going on anti-depressants, but I never took her advice. I'm afraid of getting hooked on drugs.
I like to think that what I go through every January has something to do with me getting rid of the bad karma from the previous year. What do you think?
-- Nashvegas Navelgazer
Goshamighty. We're not mental health professionals around here, but it doesn't take an advanced degree for us to guess you're dealing with severe depression -- for which a prescription could probably do wonders. It's noteworthy that your slide toward Animal Planet (heaven help us all) takes place just after Christmas; perhaps you crave the savage comforts of Mother Nature after enduring the inhumanity of the holidays? Anyway, we'll have to disagree with your self diagnosis that January couch time clears up residual bad karma from the year before. The word "karma," as we point out often in this column, means "action." Your approach of protracted inaction will only make matters worse.
Dear Karma Cleanser:
(In response to "Lost in the Mail," Dec. 26, regarding the writer who found some lost holiday cards at a racially diverse post office): I'm ashamed of you, Karma Cleanser. You had an ideal opportunity to make a crystal clear point about racial assumptions and the power of stereotypes. Instead, you settled for a cheap joke about the postal service.
The situation hits home for me because I have a very "black" sounding first name, even though I am Caucasian. My mother gave me my name because it was the name of a little girl who lived on our street, and it has caused me nothing but problems ever since I can remember. When I show up for job interviews, people are often surprised to see that I am not the race they expected. I know that it has caused me not to get hired for more than one position.
-- Keisha with a K
Is there another way to spell "Keisha"? Don't answer that. And we're guessing you're going to snap at us for saying so, but we think your unusual name might not be the reason you're getting turned down for all the job opportunities. If you insist on seeing life through a lens of discord, the universe may well respond by showing you only what you expect to see.
Been bad? firstname.lastname@example.org.