Tuesday, December 11, 2012

this post is what it is

"It is what it is"

Have you heard someone say that phrase or have you used it?

What the hell does it mean? This is either deeply philosophical or a waste of breath. Funny how it us difficult to know which it is.

The first time I heard "it is what it is" was when I heard a guy at work use it when he explained what he told his girlfriend when she caught him cheating. You can imagine that I took the phrase to have negative connotations after that use of it. Since then, I have heard it used and used it myself in a variety of situations. So, now, I think of it as a throwaway phrase to be used to mean whatever the speaker means it to mean which means the phrase really means nothing..(say that 5 times fast).
Today at work, I told a coworker that during a long tedious meeting, I was fantasizing about becoming a waitress. I emailed my coworker that since I am klutzy I probably wouldn't make a good waitress.
I made a joke that I would probably spill food on customers.
She responded that she had once spilled food on a customer when she was a waitress. She said it wasn't a big deal. "It is what it is"...she said
Well...if I was the person getting dumped on
"what it is" is a mess.


lime said...

i think i've always taken it to mean a given thing is unchangeable so learn to accept it. certainly in the case of your cheating coworker that's a negative thing and thus he's using it as an excuse. but if it's applied to something truly beyond one's control then learning to accept can be a good thing. exmple: i lost my job. i was fired without reason in a really crappy way. i can't change that. it is what it is. so now i move on to something else because THAt is what i can control.

Lynilu said...

Like Lime, I've always thought of it as a term for that which can't be changed, usually in a situation where two people can't come to a mutual agreement. It's my favorite phrase when a friend is arguing a point, we can't agree, and I'm ready to quit butting heads. Kinda like "I'm done!"

(M)ary said...

Lime: I like your definition. it is more a statement of empowerment than an excuse which is how the cheating coworker was using it.

Lynilu: I am so going to use this the next time I get into a conversation with my tea party relatives who are upset Richard dumbass Murdock lost.