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Cindy: Unpleasant Close Encounter

Yesterday I experienced one of those socially awkward moments when a lady introduced herself to me and asked if I still wrote a column for the Spokesman Review. When I admitted to doing so, she proceeded to tell me a very long and detailed story of the way the newspaper had produced a" hatchet job" on her ex-husband many years ago. Apparently, it was so mortifying she and her kids left town when ...the story broke. "And he's DEAD now," she kept inserting-- referring to her ex. I just shook my head occasionally, and said things like,"Oh dear," and "How sad." Undeterred she went on to trace this story to the decline of the newspaper and how it's no longer relevant blah, blah, blah. It's so weird. I mean, when I meet doctors I don't launch into stories of medical malpractice. When I meet lawyers I don't relate stories of disbarment. This has happened more than once.

Question: How would you respond in this situation?

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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