Reader blames self for adopted sister’s estrangement

DEAR HARRIETTE: I feel awful about the way I treated my adopted sibling when I was younger. I am now an adult, but I was 5 years old when my mother adopted my foster sister. She was 11. I have memories of poking fun at her for being adopted and for looking different than I did. When she turned 18, she moved away and lost touch with all of us completely. She recently reached out to my mother in hopes of reconnecting with all of us. I know that I was very young when she left, but the things I said to her haunt me, and I always wonder if they played a part in her estrangement. How do I begin to tell her how sorry I am for the way I treated her as a child? — Reconnecting DEAR RECONNECTING: Start by talking to your mother. Tell her about what you have been remembering and feeling about your sibling. Explain how cruel you were to her and that you know she deserves an apology. Ask your mother what she remembers about the years your sister spent with you. She likely has her own memories of the way your sister was treated and how you two interacted.

In England: Long live the clown

As a person whose eight great-grandparents were born in Ireland, my enthusiasm for British royalty is rather limited. Irish Times columnist Patrick Freyne may have put it most succinctly: “Having a monarchy next door,” he wrote in 2021, “is a little like having a neighbour who’s really into clowns and has daubed their house with clown murals, displays clown dolls in each window and has an insatiable desire to hear about and discuss clownrelated news stories. More specifically, for the Irish, it’s like having a neighbour who’s really into clowns and, also, your grandfather was murdered by a clown.”

Vigilance is required to avoid e. Coli infection

Dear Doctors: It seems like there's a new E. coli outbreak every week. We never worried because we're careful about washing our produce, but our son-in-law got pretty sick with it after eating a fast-food hamburger. How dangerous is E. coli? Where does it come from? Is there any way to avoid it?

Parents’ arguments demoralize recent college grad

DEAR HARRIETTE: My parents are feuding and have been for quite some time. I usually duck out of the room when they start in on each other, but things have escalated of late. I am living at home this year because I haven't found a job yet after graduating from college during the pandemic. I feel horrible that I am not yet independent and worse that I am stuck in the middle of a firestorm between my parents. I often just hide out in my room. But the constant arguing is driving me nuts and making it hard for me to get motivated to do anything positive for myself. How can I get out of this rut and also stay out of their business? They regularly try to get me to take sides. I don't want to be part of their drama at all. — Get Out DEAR GET OUT: You need to make a plan for your life with a timeline.

Notice: Not all Latinos are liberal

The New York Times put it starkly. A recent poll with Siena College shows Democrats “faring far worse than they have in the past with Hispanic voters.” Only 56% say they’ll back Democratic candidates this fall, with Republicans getting 32%. Just two years ago, President Biden received 63% of the Latino vote, and in 2016, Hillary Clinton polled 71%.

College-age son needs lesson in fiscal responsibility

DEAR HARRIETTE: I never taught my son how to manage money. Now he is away at college, and it seems like he is always asking me to add money into his bank account. I see that he is not buying anything extravagant — mainly he buys snacks and things for school — but I cannot afford to be his ATM. Plus, he needs to learn how to manage what he's got. I'm sure he is going to be mad when I tell him I am going to limit how much I give him per month, but I have to do it. What should I say? — Creating a Budget DEAR CREATING A BUDGET: