Karma Cleanser - June 08 2005

Dear Karma Cleanser:
?Is it possible for two people who are attracted to each other to just be friends?

Awhile back, I was complaining to my boyfriend that I had no male friends. He said that guys don’t want to hang out with girls they know they’ll never be able to sleep with. (Can you tell I’m dating Mr. Insensitive?)

Not long after that conversation, I was taking a yoga class at my gym and started a conversation with a guy who seemed to know a lot about yoga. We stood and talked for 30 minutes after the class and then “Mr. Flexible” gave me his phone number.

I did not tell him that I have a boyfriend. I didn’t want it to be weird, in a “I think you’re cool but I only want to hang out with you because I have no male friends” sort of way. I told my boyfriend later about it and he laughed. He says I’m leading this guy on by not telling him that I’m taken. I do think Mr. Flexible is attractive and he’s pretty fascinating (so far), but I don’t plan to sleep with him. Would it be a sin to see him for coffee and not mention my boyfriend until the very end of the night?
?— Bent Out of Shape

Yours is a question (like so many) of intentions. If your goal really is to make a new friend, one who happens to have a Y chromosome, then you’re fine. But if you’re needing a break from the insensitive lout who shares your bed, then perhaps the best respite isn’t found in a comely gym jock who can touch his toes with his elbows. In either case, you’d best tell Mr. Flexible the truth - before the coffee gets too hot.

Dear Karma Cleanser:
?Ever since the terrorist attacks of 2001 my sister is afraid of?flying. She has flown only twice and even then the experience freaked?her out. After flying she can’t eat and can’t enjoy the trip once she?arrives — she’s too worried about the return flight.?I have tried to assure her that air travel is just as safe as it ever?was. In our last conversation I started to lose my temper and began?basically making up statistics to prove to her that flying is still?safe. My fuzzy math worked, because she got on the plane and didn’t?have as many troubles. Now I’m worried that she’s going to do research?and realize I was exaggerating my statistics, almost outright lying.?And, I have a cross-country flight myself in a few weeks. Please let?me know that my Travel Karma won’t crash due to my exaggerations.?
— Air Sickness

Fudging a few statistics seems innocent enough, the kind of thing any?parent or politician does on a daily basis. But it’s important that?you don’t discount your sister’s fears, because they are, after all,?somewhat grounded. It’s better to be honest with her and explain?simple truths of safety rather than painting an impossible picture of?airline infallibility. Even the Karma Cleanser says a little prayer?every time the landing gear goes down.?karmacleanser@gmail.com