The Karmic Challenge-Week One!

So this is the end of the first week of being REALLY good.

It’s been hard work.  So far, I have:


  • complimented the supermarket checkout girl on her beautiful orange hair;
  • wished the checkout boy success with his upcoming school exams;
  • said ‘What a lovely bright skirt’ to someone in the bathroom at work (we’re talking tight bright yellow flowered over a bum which would do Nicki Menage proud, and good on her!);
  • told the beauty salon lady she was looking remarkably well (for all I know, I don’t really remember how she was looking before) and had an excellent memory (which IS true – she remembered the details of my love life which I told her last time. But maybe that’s cause it’s SO interesting!);
  • Told the Indian cook at the takeaway restaurant how my mum really loves his vegetarian food (which she does, even though she’s a meat-eater).

So how do I feel?  Elated? Sanctified? NO! TIRED!!

I’m normally quite nice to people, in a passive sort of way. I sometimes compliment people if I feel like it, and if I like them – otherwise, I just observe and file.  But that’s what changing habits is. TIRING. Still…


Being nice to strangers is all very well but it only takes a couple of seconds and it’s over (much like Hugh Hefner). Being nice to someone you know and hate is MUCH harder. So in the middle of the week, I set myself a challenge –


who is an appallingly irritating (if, I think, generally well-meaning) human being. So I took her aside under the guise of wanting performance feedback, sat through ten minutes of sage advice on how to suck eggs, and then said ‘I’d like to give YOU some feedback, if you wouldn’t mind’. It was worth it just to see her blench, set her jaw, and say through gritted teeth, ‘ Of course.’  Because people have told her before that she can be a little difficult.

Well, I said, I’d like to tell you that I’ve really appreciated your STRONG sense of direction, and I can see that you really TRY to be pleasant to people – not that you aren’t already , I hasten to lie, I mean add – but you clearly put a lot of effort into being a better manager, and that’s great.

Phew! Thinking about it later, though, I wondered if I’d done the right thing. After all, this woman now feels validated. She’ll think, when faced with another cowering subordinate, ‘it’s not me, it’s THEM’.  So maybe constructive criticism would have better. Braver. Too brave, actually, I’ll leave that for further down the karma trail.

3 POINTS (minus 1 for lying)


Mr F (who surely ought to get a LEETLE of the karma) and I spent all afternoon making a chocolate mousse cake for mum, which we duly took over and presented to her, along with a large bunch of daisies.  It took us all afternoon because I forgot to read the recipe properly (no whisk!) and had to go to the shops, and because I had the bright idea of putting the egg whites in the milkshake maker, to make them ‘glossy with soft peaks’.  Instead we got egg-white milkshake.

Anyway, you can’t go wrong when a thing has THAT much chocolate in it, and so indeed it proved when we took it to mum’s place. She was happy and surprised ‘It’s not even mother’s day!’ and spent an enjoyable hour trying to convert Mr F’s Attila-the Hun like political views to something a little more left of centre.  Mr F, from his full manly height, gave his grandma not one but two big hugs, and she said she’d been feeling a bit down before, but was now feeling ‘much more cheerful’.

Mr F volunteered that ‘that was a good thing to do’, so he obviously felt uplifted by the whole thing too. I’m being a bit dry here, but really I love my mum to bits (and I said so) and I feel alright too about having gone to a little extra trouble.  Plus, we got to keep the extra chocolate mousse.


After all this effort, I now feel like being – not nasty – but sort of relaxed and relatively uncaring. Caring is a lot like hard work. Sometimes I’d much rather read a book, that’s why I’m an introvert.  A few days rest though and I’ll be back on the karma trail, trying EVEN harder to reach those 500 points.

And the point of all this? Not just to be nice, ourselves, but to make a positive difference to other people. After all, if they don’t view it as a plus, WE get no points! It’s not all about US. For once.

And here are Captain Savage and me, making ourselves look REALLY dorky! But we had lots of fun doing it!



  1. SO FU***** FUNNY OOPS, an eff bomb! Love the goth. I’ll never know you when i get to Australia. Like the paint on the Cap.

    Rose, must say — your first accomplishments on your list remind me of my social life … a lot of chatting-up with clerks in stores and take-out chefs 🙂

    BIG points for cake. BIG fan of chocolate mousse. Hope the Good Mum loved the daisies as well.

    Yes, and your work is exhausting. Especially the pastry cheffing and political converting. Stop there. 🙂 XO mel

    1. Thanks, I really rifled to the bottom of my five year old makeup drawer (that I never use) for that one! AND it paid off!! God, is your social life that bad too? Never mind. Yeah, she really liked the whole thing and it was nice for Mr F to do something for her, too. Oh GOd yeah, no more pastry cheffing for me! Except when YOU come to visit me – then I promise I’ll make something involving heaps of chocolate!

  2. Rose, Week 1 out of the way… I will never be putting on my combat camouflage makeup for a YouTube clip again… Next time I’m going to dress up in the Goth Gear… And yep that was a bit of fun, looking forward to making posts from Queensland with my kids, bound to collect Karma points by the bucket load.

    (Tired little vegemite, who is now off to the land of Zzzz’s)

  3. Wow – by the time you guys reach your 500 point goal, you’ll have reworked your habits so you are always out-of-your-way nice!

    Unless you snap and punch somebody… 😉

  4. I don’t know about five points for Captain Savage’s five point lunch. Not after the breast transgression! Maybe three points for trying to be nice…. Thanks for the laughs!

    1. Thanks so much for watching our SO UNCOOL video! Apparently this lady had a lot showing so I wouldn’t be too hard on Captain Savage – although super, of course (as in superman) he is but flesh.

  5. Wow! If you’re that tired after complimenting strangers, think of how exhausted you’ll be after complimenting those you don’t like. Good luck to you on that one. You might want to stock up on caffeine. 🙂

    1. Yeah, I am. I’m starting to think maybe the next nine months would be better if I had a stash of say, ecstasy. That way I’d just float around being wonderful to people and not even realising it.

      1. Thank you! You get the: first-to-make-me-laugh-out-loud award of the day. Anyone who can lower my blood pressure through laughing always makes my day!

  6. This was hilarious, and you two are very funny and very charming people on your video. Just one thing, though, what have you done with the King’s English? Or is it Queen’s? Just having some fun here with you, because you obviously have a great sense of humor. One man’s accent is another man’s normal speech. But rest assured that not everyone in the “Upper Midwest” (Dakotas, Minnesota, maybe Iowa or Wisconsin, whatever) talks so “inbrededly” as those morons in that horrible Coen Bros. “Fargo” movie do. But there is some “yah, sure, you betcha”, and our t’s come to a point. (Almost like it’s two syllables: poin-t with an audible exhale on the t. Guess I’ll have to do my own video blog)
    Maybe I’ll try your experiment too, but I mostly say “Screw Karma”–I say what I want to anyone who won’t fire or beat me. Great line about not wanting to come back as a Kardashian.

  7. Thanks Trailer! I’m so glad you liked it, I realised as soon as I looked into that little camera eye that I am NOT the next Marilyn. I haven’t seen Fargo – obviously that’s one for the weekend. Yeah definitely, I’d LOVE to watch your video! I want to know what you mean by ts coming to a point. Mind you I’ve BEEN there (to the US) and been enthralled by ‘y’all’ and ‘noocular’ and ‘laboratOREY?’ (we say labORatory).
    I know our accents must sound weird to Americans, apparently you get our movies dubbed cause you can’t understand us (which makes us laugh here). Australians are always asking ME if I’m English, which I so am not.
    Oh, karma! It’s a bit of a joke but actually, I really do want to find out what happens if I’m spectacularly nice – it’s a sort of experiment. I’m much too polite mostly to ever say what I think – maybe I should have taken up THAT challenge instead! And there endeth the encyclopaedic comment!

  8. Love the challenge! Great idea to count points to keep you going. i might start such a challenge myself one day, gives good blog content too 🙂

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