I have been using these address labels that the Humane Society sent me, even though I've never made a donation. A co-worker and I started talking about it, and he thinks this is a major karmic no-no. I disagreed at first because they were sent to me unsolicited. But now I'm worried something might happen to my beloved Shih Tzu, Muffy.
I don't actually feel bad but should I make a small donation just to be on the safe side?-- K-9 Karma
Those free address labels create more problems than they're worth. On the one hand, if you use them without making a donation, you feel guilty. On the other, if you just toss them, you feel wasteful. We say go ahead and use the labels. The way we see it, sending out junk mail creates bad karma on the part of the sender, so they deserve it. At least if you use the stickers then you're giving the Society some free advertising, which narrowly offsets your obligation to pay for their intrusion in your mailbox. You and Muffy can sleep soundly.
Dear Karma Cleanser:
My sister gave me and my husband season tickets to the symphony for my birthday. It was a really thoughtful gift and one that I'm sure set her back a good deal of money.
I don't want to appear to be ungrateful or make anyone feel uncomfortable, but my husband and I really have no desire to use the tickets. We hate going to uptight classical concerts and would rather spend our weekend evenings at home watching movies or going to other cultural events, just not the symphony. My husband almost always falls asleep before the intermission.
My sister and her boyfriend bought the seats right next to ours, so they are always going to know when we're not using our tickets. We feel like we're caught in a terrifically awful trap. We've made excuses for missing the last two shows, but we realize that the pretense can't last. Would it generate bad karma if we gave the tickets away? Help!-- Tic-ed Off
Your problem's simple. Blame your husband. "Sorry, Sis, of course we'd just love to go with you to the symphony more, but, darn it, that man of mine is just a philistine who snores right through the Shostakovich." She'll understand if you pass the seats along to a more culturally conscious couple. Maybe she'll take a hint and buy you guys a Netflix gift certificate for your next birthday.
Been bad? Ziploc your sin and overnight it to: email@example.com.