DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m 27 years old, and I am the middle child of three girls. My sisters and I are extremely close, and we rarely ever argue. About two months ago, my baby sister got engaged to her college boyfriend. I’m trying to be happy for her, but I am struggling. I never would have thought that I would be getting married after my little sister. I know she didn’t do anything wrong, but I am so upset. I feel embarrassed that she is engaged before me, and I feel embarrassed that I am even mad about the situation in the first place!
I’m trying to set my negative feelings aside and just be happy for her. Do you think I should bite my tongue and be happy for her during this time? Or do you think I should tell her why I have been moody these past few months? -- Jealous Sister, Tucson, Arizona
DEAR JEALOUS SISTER: Even though you are young, you are feeling old because your baby sister is getting married. That is not an unusual feeling. The pressure to get to that next rite of passage is real, and it grows even more palpable when you have sibling dynamics at work as well.
So how should you handle these issues? Do not tell your sister how you are feeling. Instead, do your best to change your attitude. You need to step up and be happy for her. This is a magical time in her life, and I’m sure she wants to share it with you. Be happy for her. And trust that your turn will come.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have never been a big drinker. In college, I drank here and there, but not often. I don’t like the taste of alcohol, and it usually makes me sick. My doctor says I have a sensitive stomach and to stay away from beer and hard liquor.
I am now out of college and living with some girlfriends in Boston. We love going out to happy hours after work. I can’t help but want to suck it up and order a drink because everyone else is. I don’t want to be that person who orders water while everyone else is sharing a bottle of rose. Do you have any advice as to how I can make these social settings more comfortable? -- Not a Big Drinker, Boston
DEAR NOT A BIG DRINKER: You are one of the lucky ones, even though it may not feel like it right now. That you do not have the desire to drink is a great quality. Yes, you can still hang out with your friends. You can have fun doing so, too. Plenty of bars and restaurants offer colorful non-alcoholic cocktails that look like fun and are tasty -- without the booze. You can also be the designated driver for your friends, which can make you that much more valuable to the group.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)