It took only three words for my friend Karen to lose her breath, plunging into serious hyperventilation mode.

“I don’t know,” said Jeff.

Her extremities began to tingle. “What … do … you … mean … YOU … DON’T … KNOW?”

“I don’t think I can go through with the conversion,” he said, squarely looking her in the eye. For a flicker of a moment, she thought she heard the word “conversation,” but there it was: the weightier C word.

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