I heard the phrase 'instant karma' many times, but never really thought about it, much less understood it. Like most learning, an example is helpful. It was in my case.
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Here is an example:
Dating for almost 2 years and she decides she loves me but wants to 'experience more men' before we commit for the rest of our lives. However, she informed me AFTER THE FACT. Let's take a break and see other people for a while, she says. We can be friends in the meantime, right? Sure, I say. "You run off and fuck some guy, of course friendship is an option! Oh, and thanks for doing this 6 days before Christmas. I can at least return your gift now."
Sadly, I went back with her gift, which was a beautiful platinum and diamond engagement ring that I was so proud to have bought. It was beautiful and they took it back. My first time buying a ring and I take it back. Still gets me. I never freaked out when I paid for it either. I never paid for so much for something that fits in the palm of my hand. I saw it and it was so beautiful, I knew that was it. Evidently my choosing ability needs work... but I digress.
She runs off happily, seeming to shed our relationship and goes off with the guy she slept with. She says she still loves me and wants me, but is exploring right now. "You understand, right? No one in the world means as much to me." I understand. I understand that my plans for getting engaged were killed, the last 2 years were a lie, and that I don't trust a thing you have ever told me. I said I needed space. A lot of space. "We're still friends, right?" Sure, I said. "We're still friends." I meant it too. We probably have different viewpoints of friends. I meant the kind of friends like when you are 6 and friends with someone and they move away. Then 40 years later you run into them in Florida. You call yourself old friends, but you haven't communicated or thought about each other in decades. Friends is more of an honorary title. Kind of like getting the key to the city. It doesn't mean shit. So, yeah, we're still friends.
I spend Christmas alone and with the entire family. A pall was cast over this usually great holiday. We didn't go to the NYE party either. Spent that getting really drunk with my friends. Valentine's was easier and the rest of my life is doing well. I am forgetting her, we haven't spoken in a long time. I am dating again, not seriously, but having fun again.
Yesterday, I get a call. It's her asking to come over. What the hell. Sure. Come on over. She comes over and looks tired. She has lines around her eyes that weren't there 4 months ago. Or I didn't see them. She's out a lot, she says. Work and 'partying' is all she is doing. Great I say. She has lost the glow that she had when we broke up. I ask if everything is ok. She says everything is fine. I ask if she is still dating 'him'. Not using his name, the bastard. No, she says, they split two weeks after us. She met another few guys she is 'hanging out with"'. There is obvious tension in the air. I ask, "what is it you aren't telling me? Are you getting engaged? Married? What? I know you too well. You are trying to tell me something."
"I made a mistake" She says. I felt trapped and that I needed my space, but I was just afraid. I love you and want to be with you. I know that now." I say nothing. I can't take my eyes from the floor. "I know I hurt you. I am so sorry. I said and did bad things to you, I will spend the rest of my life making it up to you." Everything comes rushing back the love, the hurt, the confusion- all wheeling around me. My mouth goes dry. I don't know what to say. I didn't expect this and my wish for this had faded more than I though in the short months. All I could muster was, "let me think about it.", in a sincere fashion.
"I have to tell you one more thing." I am struggling to fight through the daze I'm in. I expected a blow-out fight more than I expected this. I look up at her face and stare into her eyes. She said,"He gave me Herpes."
Oh. So that's what they mean by instant karma.