3 Questions You Should Never Answer With “I Don’t Know”

Hey you. Yeah, I’m talking to you.

Your indifference is pissing the rest of us off.

Apathy is no longer cool, unless you’re a hipster, then it appears to be eternal. (But let’s be honest, who even knows what a hipster is anymore?)

I realize there are a couple questions that friends/family/coworkers can ask on a daily basis that are easier to respond to with a shrug, but it’s ok to share your opinion. The insane thing is that we are asking because we actually want to get some sort of feedback from you. They actually expect you to respond earnestly and sincerely about how you feel. Totes cray cray, right?

“What Do You Want To Eat?”

This one is my personal favorite because it’s asked by several different types of people several times a week and frequently followed by little more than a “meh.” You realize that when we ask you this question, we don’t want a specific restaurant and food item on that menu right? We just want general guidelines like “sushi” or “let’s sit on a patio” or “Venice.”  We can take it from there and offer several suggestions, but we need a funnel for our thoughts. It also doesn’t help if you say something like “I don’t know somewhere casual but not formal, somewhere not too pricey but not too cheap.” Die in a fire.

“What time do you want to go out tonight?”

There are three times that are the proper answer to this question, and “I don’t know” is none of them. 5:00, 8:00, or 11:00 (if you live in New York you can add two hours to each of these times) are acceptable. We have schedules, too, and we’d like to know what kind of night we’re in for. So what do each of these times mean when you suggest them?

  • 5:00 – I really shouldn’t go out, but we’re going to happy hour after work for some apps and margs. I really want to get home in time for American Idol and/or to tuck my kids in bed. Getting drunk while there’s still daylight is the best of both worlds.
  • 8:00 – I want to go out with the cool kids in their younger 20’s but I have this presentation early in the morning that my boss is going to kill me if I don’t nail. This is usually reserved for people hovering around 30. It is also the prime hour for date night, regardless of age bracket.
  • 11:00 – I want to get black out drunk and nail whatever fills out its jeans properly.

“What do you want out of this?”

I get it. You guys are dating and you don’t want to tip your hand too early so you can stay aloof and mysterious and protect your too often trampled-on heart, but at some point one of you is going to have to put it out there. Someone is going to have to take the risk because, if you play these mind games for too long, you will eventually get exhausted of each other. There’s a reason they call it “falling in love,” and that’s because sometimes you have to jump off the cliff and hope there’s a plush, silky, heart-shaped pillow at the bottom of the chasm. Tragically there usually isn’t, but you cannot truly love if you don’t give yourself completely over and let go. Just “fall,” as it were.

So stop it with your indifference and saying “I don’t know” because it’s taxing trying to read your mind. We ask for your opinion because we like you and we truly do want to hear from you.

So let’s go get a burger, meet you at the bar at 8? TC mark


More From Thought Catalog

  • http://twitter.com/emilcDC Emil Caillaux

    Also, “Who is the father?” You know, while we’re at it. 

  • http://summerslowrunner.wordpress.com/ Summer

    Bravo. I’m so tired of indifference I just want to give up entirely and hang out by myself #foreveralone.

  • http://twoseconds.tumblr.com/ Jesse Vaughan

    “…sometimes you have to jump off the cliff and hope there’s a plush, silky, heart-shaped pillow at the bottom of the chasm.”

    Most of the time it’s just just jagged rocks and rough waters.

    • http://twitter.com/shawn_ch ShawnChapman

      And hungry beasts ready to consume you in your miserable, broken state.

  • http://twitter.com/jennydecki jennydecki

    I know a hipster. They’re like hippies – past their prime and just kinda sad now. If only they would come out with a hipster version of Family Ties so we could all learn how to treat aging hipsters the way they showed us how to deal with aging hippies. 

    • Mrfunnyjokes

      They did it’s called Portlandia. I insist you watch it. It’s on IFC

  • http://twitter.com/nickguyrees Nick Guy Rees

    When I clicked on this, I thought of a text I sent to a girl not too long ago: ‘where do you want to eat?’ Thrilled me to see that it was the first one on the list.

    Ladies: why do guys ask this question? In my case, it’s (usually) not because I don’t have somewhere in mind that I would like to eat/go. It’s because that night I want to do what you want to do that night/day. When a girl says ‘I don’t know’ to me, I’m thinking either (1) she isn’t interested, and (1a) I therefore question whether I really want to date her,(2) she is indecisive, in which case revisit (1a), or (3) she wants to do what I want to do, therefore didn’t pick up on the fact that I am wanting to do what she wants to do, in which case revisit (1a).

    • George

      So, it’s okay for you to do what someone else wants to do, but not for them to do what you want to do? Whaaaaat?

      • http://twitter.com/nickguyrees Nick Guy Rees

        The issue was that I was the one asking, and thus offering to do what the girl/friend wants to do. If she asked me, I wouldn’t be an idiot and respond with an ‘I don’t know.’ 

        I would  say, ‘going out to eat is a waste of perfectly good cuddle time.’

      • jaq

        hahahah !!!! 

  • Eliot Rose

    Yes, yes, yes.  Indecision and apathy are such sad hallmarks of our generation.  I’ve been thinking about writing a piece called “Can We Please Stop Saying ‘It Is What It Is’?” for some time now.

  • A L D

    I rarely know where I want to eat. I’m sorry.

  • http://robvincent.net Rob T Firefly


  • http://twitter.com/kyleangeletti Kyle Angeletti

    This was funny. 

  • http://twitter.com/ed_quinones Eduardo Quinones

    I do this a lot, fuck. I’ve even had a girl yell “you never know anything!” at me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aeast317 Andrew East

    My roommates and I will sit around so long trying to figure out where to eat that all the places we want to go to will be closed. :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/anisankar Anisha Sankar




  • Lady

    I used to know what I wanted to eat, until everyone became a damn foodie.  Suddenly that question is loaded–whatever you answer will say everything about the kind of person you are/how sophisticated you are/how high maintenance you are/how low maintenance you are/how much you care about animals/are you dainty/are you mannish/etc, etc, etc.

    You know where I want to eat?  Motherfucking Chili’s.  That’s where.  And that’s never the right answer if you’re a mid twenties girl in a major city.   

  • http://general-disinterest.blogspot.com/ Taylor

    Deciding what to eat is the most stressful thing ever for me for some reason. Choosing where to get lunch after an exam gives me more anxiety than studying for and taking the exam. What if I have the wrong thing for breakfast? My whole day is ruined.

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on SOMEWHERE SOMEHOW SOMEDAY and commented:
    My sentiments exactly! :)))

  • http://chrisbackley.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/three-questions-you-should-never-answer-with-i-dont/ Three Questions You Should Never Answer With “I Don’t Know” | Chris Backley

    […] (When people ask you these three questions you frequently answer ambiguously. Here’s why you shouldn’t. As seen on the Thought Catalog.) […]

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