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Karma Cleanser 

Will it come back to bite you?

Dear Karma Cleanser:

I moved into my boyfriend's apartment a few months ago, and the experience overall has been good for us, with just a few snags. He's messy, I'm clean. He's a smoker, I'm not. But other than those little things, we are doing fine. Or so I thought.

He works for an Internet start-up and handles all the computer maintenance in our household. He normally takes care of it when I have a problem with my laptop, etc. But the other weekend something happened that made me question what we're doing together. He was out of town for work, and I had a problem logging into our Internet connection. I called him up and he said I had to reboot the network and do all this stuff. In the course of this, I had to enter in one of his passwords. Over the phone, I could tell he was blushing. He finally told me that the password is "Allison." I didn't think much of it at first, but then later remember that Allison was the name of a girl he dated for two years.

Now he's back from his business trip and I am being distant, even though I don't want to be. Shouldn't he have changed that password, or is he holding on to hope that Allison will come back around?

-- Broad Banned Connection

Passwords and their ilk are the great invisible fossils of the digital age: They can sit untouched for years, and often provide a key into the holder's frame of mind at the time of their creation. You shouldn't hold this relic of another life against your boyfriend, but you should also remind him that he needs to update all his passwords, for the sake of security, if nothing else.

Dear Karma Cleanser:

I need to know where I went wrong in this uncomfortable situation.

My friend offered me two tickets to see a live show with him. The date of the concert was Dec. 1, he said. The day before the show, he called me and said that the show was actually Dec. 8. I was bummed at first, because I'd offered my second ticket to another friend, and that guy couldn't go on the later date. I told my friend I still wanted to go, but he said that because of the confusion, he assumed I couldn't go. He'd now offered the tickets to another couple.

The day of the show, he called me and said that the couple now couldn't go. I was getting kinda peeved at the whole situation, so I said I had other plans. I didn't tell him I was pissed off.

Apparently he got really mad at me for not agreeing to go, and told other people that I'd "bailed on him" and left him with an extra ticket that he had to sell to scalpers. I feel like I'm in the right here, but just in case I'm not, can you tell me how I can keep my own karma from being compromised?

-- No Show

Your karma is fine, though you should have told your friend that you didn't like the cat-and-mouse game he was playing. For what it's worth, we happened to catch the concert you were talking about, and it was rather lame. So maybe we should be mad at your friend for ruining it for the rest of us.

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