"I Believe We Already Had This Conversation!"

by Anne

Dear Miss Manners,

Last year my husband and I went to a inn for Thanksgiving. There was a pre-dinner cocktail hour where all guests gathered, about 40 people. Some of the guests were veterans, many were new comers. It was a lively party where there was a lot of mingling, small talk about,where everyone was from, family, etc.
Later at the family style dinner a woman sat down next to me. I remembered her from the cocktail party where we had exchanged a few pleasant words. She was seated on my left, she had the end seat of a long table. As soon as I could I started talking to her. A minute or two into my introduction she stopped me and said "I believe we already had this conversation" I was so flustered and embarassed I just mumbled I'm sorry and turned to the person on my right and had a lovely conversation and a great time.
My question: Is it ever OK to say I believe we already had this conversation?? It seems to be such an unnecessary and hurtful thing to say. I think most of us just smile and endure the few minutes of repetition then move on to another topic. I feel a little bad because I never talked to her thru the rest of dinner. what should I have said? done?

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Nov 28, 2012
Be gracious NEW
by: Anonymous

Or you could simply and politely accept that sometimes people are forgetful especially in large group settings. Say something along the lines of, "oh, I do apologize" and start a new conversation with her or ask her what she would like to talk about.

Aug 27, 2011
Rude Comment
by: Anonymous

Perhaps you should have suggested a new conversation regarding rude people who boldly dismiss someone speaking to them on an innocently repetitive topic.

You probably didn't have that conversation with her prior so she couldn't accuse you of being tedious or repetitive then.

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