{literal} {/literal}

Karma Cleanser - January 30 2008

Wrestling wildcat

Dear Karma Cleanser:

I fell in love with a girl who is, in a word, flawed. She's a knockout, with a great body, outgoing personality and a dorky-cute sense of humor that makes me fall over my shoestrings to make her like me. But she also has very low self-esteem and can be downright mean sometimes.

I have been seeing her for four months and I had started to really like her. Then I started to see the real person underneath her exterior. I found out she has some quirky habits, like she smokes a pipe and watches wrestling on television. The smoking is enough to make me doubt we have a future together. I'm also too insecure myself to break this thing off now, because I honestly don't know if I can do better.

She is not the first "flawed" girl I've fallen for, and it's making me think there's a pattern somewhere, or maybe there's something in my karma that causes me to fall for the same kind of quirky-but-emotionally distant woman over and over again. More than anything, the thought of kissing someone with smoky-pipe breath just makes me gag. Is that so wrong?

– Pipe Dreams

You're being such a girl. (We know full well how bad that sounds, so we'll ask our feminist friends to please hold their fire.) You know the type, women who always date guys that are obviously jerk-wads, yet they keep going back for more, hoping he'll change. Such a collision of personalities becomes all the more jarring if the gender roles are reversed. We're not saying you should settle for some timid little schoolmarm – and kudos to your current beau for being an individual – but this woman sounds more like Popeye than Olive Oyl. Back away from the relationship slowly, lest she tackle you with a headlock she learned on the WWE.

Dear Karma Cleanser:

I know what you're going to say already, but I have to ask. There's a guy in my office whom I like. He's basically invited himself over to my apartment before, but I keep saying I'm busy. I have three cats right now, and I don't want him to come over because I think he'll think I'm some crazy cat person, which I'm not. I also don't want to tell him the whole story because the cats actually belong to my ex-boyfriend. I want him to like me and not think that I have a lot of baggage.

Is it bad to make up some excuse why we can't hang out at my place? Or will a lie at the start ruin any chance of us actually dating?

– Trapped in a Cat Box

It's simple: Go on a date with him but don't invite him over after. What's so hard about that? Meanwhile, we're dying to know what you thought we'd say. Do we get a prize if we picked the right answer – perhaps a free cat?

Been bad? karmacleanser@gmail.com

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