Dear Karma Cleanser:
My little brother wants a motorcycle for Christmas. He is 19 and one of those cool slacker kids with long hair but a perfect SAT score. I have told my parents that a motorcycle is not a good Christmas gift. I'm certain that something bad will happen if he gets it. But on the other hand, I don't want to be a Grinch here and be the one who spoils Christmas. My brother is a really smart kid and I know that even if our parents don't come through, he'll somehow arrange a deal with the devil and come up with a motorcycle on his own. Sooner or later. Anyway, I feel guilty for my feelings. Am I making bad karma by trying to be the voice of reason? Should I expect coal in my stocking?
-- Highway Safety Elf
Being the voice of caution does not create bad karma. You owe it to your family, in fact, to let them know how nuts it is to furnish a 19-year-old with two wheels and a prayer, whiz kid or not. Talk your parents into, at the very least, signing him up for a safety course. Even if Santa doesn't grant your wish, at least you'll know you tried.
Dear Karma Cleanser:
I liked this guy, who people said liked me. I know what you're thinking: Where's the problem? Well, this guy (let's call him M.) wasn't really my type. My type is more the jock/cutie type; he's cute but most people wouldn't think I would like him. OK, still no problem. Tell the people to go screw themselves! But you see, it's not that easy. I kind of talked about M. behind his back, and not in a good way! But he also spread rumors about me doing very bad sexual things to him, which I didn't.
I know I didn't have a right to talk about him. I asked his friend if M. was mad at me for saying what I said. His response was, "Naw, M. forgot about that a long time ago!" My question is: Do you think karma will prevent M. and me from hooking up?
-- Done Wrong to Crush
The Karma Cleanser's longtime confidant Winnie, a type-A swing chick who goes through men like mouthwash, has a saying: Life is long. Sure, you and M. screwed the pooch this time around, acting like bratty little bullies pulling pigtails on the playground. But according to Winnie's logic, you never can tell when the universe will throw the two you together again -- usually in a totally new and different clusterfuck. Leave it at that and see what happens.
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