“Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.”

How is that a responsible way to live one’s life, especially an adult?

Hola a todos. We all probably know some willfully-ignorant person in our lives whose motto in life is the title of this article. In my case, the person I’m thinking of I’ll call Faye.

She votes for Democrats but couldn’t tell you anything about any of them or what she votes for because she doesn’t pay attention to any news of any kind because her thinking is, “Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.” She’s always been this elitist, self-entitled, self-absorbed, self-deserving person. “Don’t spoil my fun, even if it kills me” is her thinking, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently when I mentioned COVID to her, she asked me, “What’s COVID?” I thought to myself: There has been wall-to-wall coverage of COVID for months now and Faye doesn’t know what COVID is! All she would say is, “I’m getting a little bit nervous about it” to pacify me. A little bit nervous about it? Well don’t get yourself all worked up over it! (roll eyes) But her behaviour during the pandemic is unchanged. She’s above reproach. And apparently she thinks that this virus will ignore her because she ignores it. That’s not the way it works.

She can be embarrassing in restaurants because she has to “engage” with the servers — she needs all their attention — and embarrasses everyone at the table. There are many examples I could give, but the ones I remember the most are:

I think she has an alcohol problem. For attention, she’s big on bringing wine into restaurants, rather than buying the wine that restaurants want to sell you. So she brought in this bottle of wine and told the server she had done so and said to the server, “I thought it would be nice to have all the staff come out and sample my wine.” (Unspoken: Whether they want to or not!). The server had to diplomatically remind Faye that their employees are not allowed to drink while on the job so the staff would not be coming out to “sample her wine.” At which time, she turned to all of us sitting at the table and said, “I thought it would be nice if we all had a glass of this wine.” Rather than, “Would anyone here like a glass of wine?” That’s the more appropriate question. No, she was determined that everyone would drink wine — to give her attention — whether they wanted it or not. Three of us sitting at the table didn’t have any.

Yes, she’s a piece of work.

Then on another occasion, the owner of the restaurant came to our table and asked us how things were and talked briefly. As we were leaving, Faye had to walk over to the owner gushingly and said, “Thank you so much for allowing us to eat in your restaurant” (oh brother!…that’s what they’re there for, Faye) and Faye hugged her. One of our relatives said, “There she goes again…needing attention.” Yes.

Then, if Faye gives you a gift for some occasion, she will ask you about it incessantly to give herself attention and to make sure it was not a wasted purchase. “Are you using that book I gave you?” Now who would ask someone that after giving them a gift? She asked me that after giving me a book. I was about to tell her: Let me just pay you for it, okay? How much did you spend on it? I’ll just send you a check if it means that much to you and you think you wasted your money on a gift to me. She also needs to be thanked profusely for anything that she does.

Oh, and if you give her a gift — and who on Earth knows what she wants? — and if she does not like the gift, she does not have the graciousness to simply say, ‘Thank you very much” whether she likes the gift or not. No, if you don’t give Faye the gift she thinks she deserves and wants, she will let you know in no uncertain terms. Even if she doesn’t like a card that you give her, she lets you know by the look on her face as she tosses it to the side.

At a home dinner, whenever she makes something such as a salad, you hear about that salad for hours. “I made the salad, I thought it looked very colourful, does everyone like it?” Whereas if I made something, people have to ask, “Who made the brownies?” Then I say: I did. And that’s the end of it, unless someone compliments the brownies and then I say: Thank you. Glad you enjoyed them. Fin./The End. I don’t sit there needing constant attention over the brownies the way Faye does over her salad.

For her birthday each year — which she sees as a #1 world event — it has to be this lavish affair complete with balloons attached to all the chairs in the restaurant (pre-COVID of course). You might think that Faye is very young, but no, she’s in her 60s and has never matured past the days when she had adults put balloons on chairs for her birthday as a young girl. She has to take pictures of all the gifts lavished on her, everyone in the restaurant is required to sing “Happy Birthday” to Faye. Embarrassing. Then, she takes all the pics around to show to the patrons in the restaurant, she sits at their tables to show them what she got for her birthday and the cake. The restaurant patrons don’t know her “from Adam”….or care! But it’s always all about Faye. Ms. Needy. That’s what I call her. A relative of mine refers to Faye politely as “a needy-assed bitch.” Well! She’s never been successful with dating men. Who would want her, after they get to know her just a tad? Guys run the opposite direction from her as soon as they get to know her a bit. Well, she was married briefly to a guy but he wanted out and they got a divorce. Smart guy, although he should never have gotten involved with her to begin with.

They are some examples.

Faye also hates her job and it’s clear that the company she works for “hates” her as well as they keep reducing her benefits, apparently trying to get her to quit. She claims that she’s very valuable to an employer and could get a job anywhere (big head), yet she’s sent out umpteen applications and nada. Nothing. Her mouth, BS’ing people is her strong point. What office skills — such as PC skills — she has are outdated. I recently made the mistake of telling her about something political — I don’t know what I was thinking! — and she asked where I got that from. So, I proceeded to tell her and to give her the link. I HIT THE WALL. She said, “No, no, no, I’m online all day. I don’t want any links.” I said: Well you asked me where I got it and I was about to tell you until you cut me off. (Ugh. Can’t stand her). She’s online all day but only with work-related stuff. She’s never online for any other reason such as news and information or to get informed.

Faye used to be rather fun to be around, more on the progressive side and I use the word progressive loosely here because a genuine progressive doesn’t pride themselves on being constantly willfully-ignorant like Faye. She used to enjoy travelling around América Latina. Not anymore. Faye became a homeowner and moved to a rather conservative area and that changed her completely. She’s done a 180.

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has been going on for 9 months or so as of this writing, she couldn’t tell you anything about it in detail because she’s on and off when it comes to believing in it. She believes in it depending upon who she’s talking with at the time, if the person she’s talking with believes in it or not. If they call it “a hoax,” so will Faye. It’s as if Faye has two people inside her — two personalities and you never know which one you’re going to get — and they are rather opposites.

I was telling Faye about the increasing homelessness in San Francisco due to the pandemic. She used to live in SF and talked about how she liked the ethnic diversity in The City and on the metro. Now? She’s very anti-city. She’s become the opposite of who she was. She asked me, “is it safe to live there?” I explained to her that homelessness is happening everywhere including where she lives. She denied that. So I brought up 2 articles and started to inform her. THE WALL CAME UP. I told her: The same thing is happening where you live but you choose not to see it. As usual and predictable, Faye became silent and got “that tone” to her voice. I had put her in her place and exposed her constant willful-ignorance and it was time to move on to “fun” topics because Faye likes to believe that there are no problems in the world where she lives. It’s okay for her to talk about the negatives of where she lives on occasion — one of her personalities will do that — as in “all the traffic up here” but others are not supposed to remind willfully-ignorant Faye of any problems in her imaginary utopian world where she lives. She had just been to a COVID super-spreader event with about 16 people from different households. Obviously she doesn’t care about her health or the health of the careless people who were there.

It takes all I have to keep from going off on Faye. I’d love to tell her exactly what I think about her and her irresponsible behaviour, but it would do no good. Then, like a typical female, she’d turn on the water works. Well, that wouldn’t work with me because I see right through a female using tears to manipulate me, so I wouldn’t be sucked into that either. I’d say: Shut off the tears, they don’t work with me, I see them for what they are, being shallow and being used for show and to manipulate me to back down. I’m not about to back down until I say what I have to say. Let’s have a reasonable and rationale conversation, shall we? If that is possible to do with someone like you. I’ve seen no indication that it is possible to date because with Faye she operates solely on emotion. And Denial.

I’ve decided to not say another word about any problems in San Francisco to Faye because it give Faye bait to hate on my city and elsewhere because she will say, “We have nothing like that up here” even though the problems in San Francisco and elsewhere are in her town. She chooses not to see them. One wonders how long her constant denial and luck will work for her?

It’s a terribly irresponsible approach for any citizen to take. There was once a time when being informed and educated were a good thing and it’s what most people in our society worked towards. Today — at least with Faye — willful-ignorance and a lack of information are what she favours with her “Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know” mentality. And there are millions of others just like her. Chau.—el barrio rosa