Last week a fellow Stepford Wife and I were IMing about a juicy little piece of Stepford gossip. Once I was finished describing to her what I believed to be the sad, sorted details, she responded with one word: “Karma.”
I said, “Do you believe in Karma?”
She said, “Yes, when it happens to other people.”
I said, “So, if it’s happening to you, it’s just random bad shit with no explanation?”
She said, “Exactly.”
Since this conversation I’ve been thinking a lot about Karma. I probably don’t believe in it in the true, pure definition of Karma. I do, however, operate my life under a loose set of rules centered on the notion that if I am doing what I am supposed to be doing, my life goes along pretty well—for the most part. I also believe that if I get off track, I get subtle messages—like the kids will be whiny if I’m not spending enough time with them, if I’m over-scheduled I’m sure to forget an important meeting—things like that. I understand that if I ignore these subtle messages, I do so at my own peril. As sure as the day is long, if I ignore the small messages a larger, harsher one is surely headed my way. I try to pay attention.
And like my friend, I can of course spot Karma in other people’s lives much more quickly and accurately than in my own. My mother used to tell me when I was a child, “What goes around comes around.” I always understood this was a doubled edged sword. I mean, great, if what’s coming around is coming for someone else—but bummer if it was coming around for me. And then there were always that handful of people who I witnessed behaving so badly that I would wonder, Where’s the Karma for them?
Well, today I received an answer regarding one of those people who, it seemed to me, has always been able to dodge Karma—Ann Coulter. MSNBC, as well as the blogosphere, are reporting that Ms. Coulter has suffered a broken jaw in a fall down some stairs. They are further reporting that the broken jaw has had to be wired shut. Now, I have absolutely no way of knowing if this event in Ms. Coulter’s life is Karma. I will say, I’m awfully suspicious.