August 19, 2009

I Know, Right?

Sometimes, I'm too observant for my own good. One example of this was seen shortly after college. I was at a concert here in Austin and I spotted someone that looked familiar, so I went over and said hi. After trying to remember who the guy was, I eventually realized that he and I had lived in the same freshman dorm. I knew his face well enough to spot him in a crowd, but we'd never actually spoken or really known anything about each other. His response to my approaching him was of the "Please don't kill me, random psychopath"-variety.

My uber-obervational skills extend to listening; I tend to know far too well just which phrases people overuse. There are a lot of these overused phrases, but there are 2 that I hear all of the time that contribute absolutely nothing to a conversation. They are "it is what it is" and "I know, right?" Let's tackle these one at a time.

"It is what it is." Isn't that obvious? If it isn't what it is, I'm barricading my front door and hiding in the closet because I no longer have any idea what in the hell is going on.

"I know, right?" This one is trickier. I usually hear this when a person is agreeing with me, but it still confuses me because it ends with a question. I can just see some terrible mystery movie where the femme fatale has given the brain surgeon an amnesia drug. He's looking at his scalpel right before the surgery starts, certain it looks familiar, and he whimpers, "I know.... right?" And then he bursts into tears. In most conversations, yes, you know and you're right that you know.

When you put this much thought into two phrases, it's easy to get annoyed when others pound them into the ground. That strikes me as ridiculous though; these phrases are conversational filler, there's probably nothing on earth less worthy of your fury than throw-away statements like these. So, rather than get mad, have fun with them.

How do I do that? Whenever I hear someone use one of these phrases, I substitute a much funnier phrase in my mind. Whenever someone tells me "it is what it is", I'm imagining that I just heard "it do what it do". "It do what it do" is so much more enjoyable than the alternative and it gives you the opportunity to respond, "Hell yeah it do!"

I have another substitute for "I know, right?" Here, I use "effin' a". (Feel free to substitute the actual f-bomb for effin', but it's not always necessary.) If you can consistently swap "I know, right?" with "effin' a", it feels like you're spending a lot more time talking to truckers.

In general, it's a great life practice to find things that are dumb and turn them into things that are fun. Such a practice allows us to embrace my new mantra: it do what it do.

Posted by Cody at August 19, 2009 6:27 PM