My life has been, well, rough lately. I've grown sick of hanging out with these larger-than-life characters. I usually shrink into their shadows and bask in their limelight. After a while, it just gets boring always playing second fiddle to someone else's ego.
I decided to strike out on my own. I actually stood up to the loudmouths and dropped all of them from my life. But now -- surprise -- I don't have any friends. The people I have met since starting this experiment are even more boring than my old friends. Now I just sit at home watching rented movies. This really sucks.
Am I suffering bad karma for standing up for myself? What's the big deal here?-- Out of the shadows
Deciding that it's time to move on to a new group of friends doesn't create bad karma. However, the way you handled the transition might have. It's like when you leave a job. If you rush out in a sudden huff, screaming that the boss is an asshole and she can shove this sweatshop, you're not exactly making a golden deposit in the old resume bank. It sounds like you kissed off your blowhard buds with more of a bang than a whimper. Maybe they deserved that, but then again, maybe Netflix is the only friend you need.
Dear Karma Cleanser:
I'm a little weird about riding in cars with people. That is, some people don't seem to mind riding with friends who drive like maniacs around the streets. I've decided that I cannot be held accountable for the actions of other people, and I therefore almost always drive myself everywhere I go.
One friend has taken to calling me "Grandma," because of this. I've also had a run of bad luck lately involving my car -- a mysteriously broken taillight, a clutch that had to be replaced, some flat tires. My friend says that this is bad car karma coming back to haunt me because of my weirdness over riding with other drivers. I can't imagine that is really the case. Is it?-- Wheels of Misfortune
When we started this column, now nearly two years ago, we never guessed how often we'd be queried on car-related matters. Who would have thought that transport caused such drama! Anyway, we don't see your problem as bad car karma. By refusing to ride with reckless drivers, you're only looking out for No. 1. Nothing wrong with that. Blame the faulty clutch and bad brake light on the natural cycle of repair. In the end, we bet that Grandma will have the last laugh.