I just don't know.

What would you like to do?

"I don't know."

Where would you like to eat?

"I don't care."

What's going on?

"I have no idea."
I am beginning to hate these responses. There has to be a more intelligent answer to questions such as these...please?

Having three kids now past the age of 10, you can imagine that I hear these words quite frequently. Sometimes, it is warranted, yes. They really don't know where my keys got to, or who had my cell phone last. OK, I'll give that to them. But, wouldn't a better answer be, "Gosh Mom, I haven't seen your keys, but I'd be happy to help you look for them." *sigh*

There is more to it, though. I think when people say "I don't know" or more especially "I don't care", they are really ducking out of the decision-making process. They are making the other person make the decision for both of them. Unfortunately, this leaves the decision maker holding the bag, or more rightly the responsibility, of making everyone happy. And if the decision is not appreciated, or successful, then criticism follows.

Can I just say that I don't like this? I admit that I may be a little slow on the uptake, and that this has been happening to me for a long time, but now I get it. Can everyone just actively participate in everyday decision making, please? Why does it always have to fall to one person?

I have started calling people on this behavior. Being a rather take-charge type of person, it is easy for those around me to just assume that I will make the choices. I understand that they may truly 'not care' about small details like where to buy gas or where to grab lunch, but just leaving all decisions up to the other is inconsiderate. Especially if it happens all the time. It wears a person out, I tell you.

So, this is what I tell my kids; I don't know means I don't care (about you), and I can't means I won't. No, it doesn't apply in all situations, but it applies to most.

What time do you want to eat?

"I don't care."

What would you like to have for dinner?

"Beats me."

Where would you like to go on vacation?

"Whatever is fine."

*heavy sigh*


asl4god said…
Okay. Just to beat us to the punch for next weekend, we'll eat at our normal lunch place and chat until we don't got no more to say. Sound like a plan? ;-) However, just remember that this will take away the first 10 minutes of our convo as we attempt to figure out where we all want to eat. ;-) Love you, sis!! BTW...I DO care!!
Mama Cache said…
Ari C'rona said…
Dang! Sorry! I know how you feel about that... I did it again today, didn't I?! I have decisions ready for tomorrow...

Yes, we're stopping at Starbucks.
Yes, I have a cooler with some snacks and vitamin water for us.
Yes, I have my saber and all my stuff!
Yes, I have some very definite thoughts about today.

Hendel D'bu said…
And, that's why you're my Padawan, my friend!

What would I do without you?? :-)
J Antonelli said…
What if someone really doesn't know. I've been told and I also notice it as well that I am completely clueless and really don't know! But on the flip side I do know what I'm doing and/or want to eat. I just don't know what the other person expects me to say.
Snail Mail said…
My husband says that all the time, especially when picking out a restaurant or what to do on our day off. He says it's because he doesn't want to pick the wrong thing and make me mad. I get mad when I have to make all the decisions!