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Will it come back to bite you?

Dear Karma Cleanser:

Help! I am dating a sci-fi geek.

I knew about my boyfriend's obsession with science-fiction as soon as we started dating. He had a room of his apartment filled with action figures, Star Wars memorabilia and other geeky stuff. He also seemed to get how nerdy his hobby was and even made fun of himself for it. I moved in with him on the condition that he box up all the fantasy toys and store them in the attic.

Now it's three years later and his sci-fi stuff has inched its way back into our living area. My birthday falls at the beginning of September, which means that it clashes with DragonCon, the huge sci-fi convention in Atlanta. Last year we made a compromise and he went to the convention for only one day, then celebrated my birthday the next.

This year, he surprised me by buying me a pass to the convention for my birthday! I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to hurt his feelings by turning down the gift but I also wish he'd gotten me something more personal, not something that's like a gift for himself. When I told him I didn't want to go, he seemed to be crushed. Am I bad person for being honest?

-- Lady Deathstrike

You're a fool for turning down DragonCon tickets. Even if you find sci-fi a total bore, the weekend makes for some of the best darn people watching this side of Burning Man. Your boyfriend shouldn't force his fanboy ways upon a non-believer, but think of a pet cat who leaves dead chipmunks on your doorstep. To the cat, the gift is a gesture of highest kinship; to you, it's just kind of icky. If you want to make your relationship work, you'll need to accept your man's inner geek. Give him one weekend to crack out the light saber and make lame Wookie jokes, then celebrate your birthday later. Admit it: You've always wanted to try on Princess Leia's metal two-piece.

Dear Karma Cleanser:

(In response to "Wedding Bliss into Blues," the guy who thought not buying wedding gifts was affecting his love life): My friend got married a year ago to his high-school sweetheart. I had to miss the wedding because I was having an appendectomy. My mother found out that I didn't send a gift and she was pissed at me. She knows both the bride and groom and is very caught up in appearances, so she sent a gift from the both of us. Two days later, I met a girl at my doctor's office, and we've been together since.

So, to answer the question, yes, I do think sending a wedding gift can help you find "the one." It did for me.

-- Waiting Room Romeo

Or maybe all your girlfriends get scared away by the thought of having such a hands-on mother-in-law. Just a thought.

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