Bad Habits » Karma Cleanser

Karma Cleanser


Dear Karma Cleanser:

I like to make people laugh, and I like to laugh too. Sometimes my humor has been called "inappropriate": I stay away from poop jokes, but often make fun of overweight people, the mentally challenged and people with Tourette's and cerebral palsy.

Well, this might be karma, because while driving in my car on Thursday, the right side of my face just quit working. I can't blink my right eye or make any facial expressions with that side of my face. I can't control the right side of my mouth so I drool and spit when I talk. I look crazy. At first I laughed about it and it was funny, but then I found out that I have Bell's palsy. My face can be like this for months, and my doctor doesn't know the cause of this disease. It's still funny, but I don't know why this happened to me. Could it be karma from my offbeat humor?

Droopy Drools

Attributing your malady to karma for your comedy feels a little too easy: If every comic suddenly became the thing they parodied, then The Daily Show would be a rather insipid affair, no? Maybe your palsy can teach some compassion, but it sounds like you're still laughing through the paralysis. Keep smiling -- even if it's a crooked smile; the answer will come.

Dear Karma Cleanser:

About five months ago a guy I was dating for less than two months broke up with me. He lied to me and ended things over the phone. He then went on a date with one of my friends a few days afterward. We haven't spoken since the break up, even though we have classes together. Recently, I received an e-mail from him declaring his sorrow, an apology and how he wishes that we could be friends. I think it's because of graduation coming up and he wants to clear his bad deeds. He says it's nothing like that and he really misses me.

I can't believe anything he says, especially since he decided to clear everything five months after the fact. I don't feel as though I can trust him, and think it's best we leave things the way they are now. Is it up to me to let his conscience be cleaned?

Still Confused

You're still hurting, and that's fine. But because graduation's coming up, we're guessing this is his last chance to set things right with you before vanishing into the vast vagaries of the Real World (that is, the workplace, not the banal TV show). Give him a chance to apologize in person -- not for the sake of his conscience, but to relieve yourself any future "what if" ruminations.

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