Dear Abby: My nephew “Dave” recently took a DNA test.

Advice column

Dear Abby: My nephew “Dave” recently took a DNA test and discovered that my brother and I have a different father than our other two siblings.

I have lived my entire life with the understanding that my family is my family. Now Dave, who has an obsession with genealogy, has my brother and me listed as “half-siblings.” I am not a half-anything, and while DNA could be used to prove my father is not my father, I have no intention of testing my own DNA or contesting my parentage.

Maybe I’m out of line, but I want the “half” designation removed from our family profile. I’m hoping you can give me a reality check. Am I blowing this out of proportion, or do you think it would be appropriate to ask him to remove the designation?

Whole, Not Half in Indiana

Dear Whole: I understand why you are upset. However, you seem to have interpreted this as a personal insult or a value judgment on Dave’s part. It isn’t. This has nothing to do with the way you and your brother were raised; of COURSE your family is your family. But genetically, you and your brother are different from the other two siblings, which is why I don’t think it would be appropriate to ask your nephew to remove the designation.

Dear Abby: I’m 55, and my sister is 50. She has always been mean and hateful toward me. Even though I have done my best to keep her from going off the deep end, she has always struck back at me even meaner. She is schizophrenic, paranoid and bipolar.

Despite my making her my maid of honor at my wedding (Mom forced me) and making her godmother at my child’s baptism, she has continued to be a beyond-evil demon because I didn’t do some things right, according to her. She has tried hard to turn my 19-year-old daughter against me and slams me for being a grandma to my grandchild. (She can’t have kids.) Family has always let her slide due to her mental illness. Please advise.

Beaten Down in Missouri

Dear Beaten Down: Your sister is a sick woman. If your daughter doesn’t understand that, make it clear to her. I don’t know how much input you have in your grandchild’s upbringing, but if there is any truth to what has been said, it may be time to use a lighter touch if you are being perceived as heavy-handed.

By letting your sister’s behavior “slide due to her mental illness,” the rest of your family has contributed to the person she has become. However, this does not mean you must be involved with her, and if you are smart, you will start to disengage.

Dear Abby: I am surprised I see so many nurses wearing their scrubs in the supermarket. To me, if they are coming from the hospital, their clothes will have germs on them, and if they are going to the hospital, they could bring germs with them. What do you say?

Vinnie in New Jersey

Dear Vinnie: Many people in the medical field choose to wear scrubs because they are convenient. Whether these individuals are actually nurses is anybody’s guess. They could be office staff, technicians, etc. and not necessarily exposing the public or patients to germs they wouldn’t otherwise encounter.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.