Karma Cleanser - December 19 2007

Boyfriend owes more than late fees for bill screw-up

Dear Karma Cleanser:

My girlfriend is great at a lot of things, but paying bills is not one of them. In my relationship, I am always the one on top of paying our bills and meeting deadlines. Whenever I leave a bill for her to pay, half the time she just drops the ball on it and we end up getting fined late fees.

After we bought a condo together, I became extra cautious about us not dropping the ball on paying our mortgage or various other bills. I took all those payments on myself, even though I have a high-stress job that requires me to travel. We still have separate finances, and my girlfriend always just pays me back every month.

I returned from a business trip this week, and my girlfriend had a smirk on her face. She said the condo board had called while I was away and asked why we had not paid our association fees. I realized I had written the check and put a stamp on the envelope, but then left it lying on my desk at work.

At this point I could either lie and say I sent the payment, or I could admit to my mistake. I decided to lie. After four years of harassing her about not paying bills, I didn't want to give her any ammo to say that I dropped the ball. I even pretended to get mad to reinforce my position. Now, I feel like a major ass for not admitting I was wrong. I'm afraid the karma to come out of this is going to be hell. Am I right?

– Billed to the Gills

You've been in the relationship for four years, you bought a home together and yet you still maintain separate finances? Such caution may be a function of your partner's spotty history – and you're wise to protect your own interests – but perhaps it's time for you to give the girl a little more credit. So to speak. Your slip on the condo fee may well be the cosmos saying, "There are no mistakes in the universe." Better to pay the late fee now than continue on in a relationship where only one person gets to be an adult.

Dear Karma Cleanser:

It's coming up on the end of another year, and I've been trying to write down some New Year's resolutions that will help me ditch my negative karma in the coming months and get back to my spiritual "center." Any advice on where I should start?

– Perchance to Dream

Kudos to you for greeting the end of the cycle with mindfulness and humility. We always close out the year by writing a long letter to ourselves (apparently we're just addicted to the form) that encapsulates the highs and lows of the previous 12 months. Start there: Write the letter, mail it to yourself and by the time it arrives, your resolutions will become obvious.

Been bad? karmacleanser@gmail.com

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