I’ve been hearing the expression, “It is what it is” a lot lately. The expression is not part of my vocabulary, but I’ve decided to start using it.
The expression seems to be a popular cliché or euphemism that is used to restate the obvious and express acceptance of (or resignation to) a condition that seemingly can’t be changed. I suppose the expression is a by-product of our post-modern culture.
But, it is an effective response to just about any observation a person makes and a useful explanation for just about any situation or behavior that can occur. Here’s some examples:
Compact Car Owner: “I can’t believe the price of gas.”
SUV Owner: “It is what it is!”
Sports Announcer: “Do you think that missed call by the officials in the last few seconds of the game contributed to your one-point win?
Basketball Coach: “Our team showed up for the game and gave 100%, and so it is what it is.”
PNA Blog Reader: “I don’t know why anyone reads this blog. It’s a total waste of time.”
PNA Blog Writer: “Hey, it is what it is!”
But, what’s useful to me about this expression is when a teacher, principal, concerned parent, or other anxious grown-up observes my kids’ naughty behavior, I can give the same explanation (or excuse) no matter what they’ve done! All I have to do is utter the phrase, “It is what it is!” and change my facial expression.
(And, for all you grandparents, it’s the perfect explanation for the not-so-cute behavior of your so-cute grandchildren!)
Here’s what I mean…
Them: “Your children don’t mind very well, do they?”
Me: (rolling eyes downward) “Well they didn’t get a nap today. It is what it is!”
Them: “Do your children have ADHD? They seem so hyper.”
Me: (shrugging shoulders) “They’re young and energetic. So, it is what it is!”
Them: “Your children sure talk a lot and ask silly questions.”
Me: (glaring) “They are clever aren’t they. It must be genetic. It is what it is!”
Them: “Your children aren’t very well-behaved. Don’t you ever spank them?”
Me: (sighing) “I’m a grandparent. They’re cute. So, it is what it is!”
Them: “Your children don’t share or play nicely with the other children.”
Me: (rolling eyes upward) “They learned it by fighting with each other all the time at home. So, it is what it is!”
Them: “They sure keep you hopping trying to keep up with them, don’t they?”
Me: (grabbing at little arms) “Since there’s two of them and one of me, it is what it is!”
Them: “You mean you’re a grandparent raising two preschoolers by yourself?”
Me: (smiling) “Hard to believe, isn’t it? But, it is what it is!”