I Don’t Care

That was my go-to phrase when I was a kid.

Parent: “Mindy, you didn’t clean your room.”
BBC: “I don’t care.”

Parent: “You’re grounded you for a week.”
BBC: “I don’t care.”

Parent: “You’re making me angry!”
BBC: “I don’t care.”

As you can see, I learned early on that apathy is the biggest stick you can carry while walking softly. So my parents found the perfect book for me: PIERRE by Maurice Sendak.

PIERRE is the story of a young boy who uses that same catchphrase to dismiss, irritate and otherwise flaunt his independence to his parents. Tried beyond endurance, Pierre’s parents go to the movies one night to get away and a lion marches into the living room and announces he’s going to eat Pierre, who boldly claims –

“I don’t care.”

And is thus eaten.

After this little literary gem had been installed on my bookshelf, my parent’s automatic response to my defiant “I don’t care” was –

“Okay, Pierre.”

Which was a really nice way to say, “Get your shit together or you’ll be eaten by a lion.”

I hear “I don’t care,” everyday in my job, and it never slips by without my brain tacking on, “Okay, Pierre.” So Maurice Sendak is going to be with me for a long time, haunting my steps and reminding me to care.

Or be eaten.

9 thoughts on “I Don’t Care

  1. Cherie – I was bummed for awhile about that. I still have my copy of PIERRE, with a notation on the inside that it's the property of MIMBY.

    Yvonne – 🙂

    Jenn – I'm SO glad I found someone else who knows and loves PIERRE. It was such a huge part of my childhood!

  2. I read this all the time when I was little! (And yes, my parents often implied my apathy would lead me straight to a lion's tummy, too.) Thanks for reminding me of such a great book! (Though, now I'm sad again that Maurice Sendak has passed away…)

  3. Lesie – “A Hole is to Dig” is a new one for me! Hooray – behold the power of social networking! We have each introduced the other to something new.

  4. This was why my parents were always punishing me. I never figured this out. I'd scream and whine whenever I was punished and it was too obvious that I hated every second of it and that the punishment was effective. My brother would laugh at all their punishments and get out of them that way. I was never so clever.

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