Is anybody else as sick of that phrase as I am? It’s all good. I hear it all the time and it’s invariably used to excuse behaviour that is mediocre. No, it’s not all good. Sometimes, it’s not even acceptable.
Case in point: This morning I forgot my canvas carrying bag when I went to the grocery store. I apologized. The clerk smiled. “It’s all good.” For some reason, I cringed. No, it isn’t. Not having the canvas bag, she pulled out a plastic one. Who knows where that was made? No doubt in a third world country in an unsafe building. It’s all good? Think again. Now I’ll spend the day worrying about those unsafe, underpaid workers instead of writing.
I would have been chagrined, but ultimately more satisfied if she’d pushed my groceries aside and told me to go back home and get my canvas bag. It’s unlikely I’d ever forget again. But instead she used plastic and “it was all good,” leading me to believe I can get away with that every time.
But then I got home and looked up “plastic shopping bags” on Wikipedia and found, to my surprise, that they’re not all that bad. They’re bad, but not horrible. And not only that, a lot of them are made in the US.
So now I’ve wasted my morning worrying unnecessarily and checking out Wikipedia. That’s not good. Except that I kind of sound like David Sedaris here, and that would be really good if I could sustain that style.
It’s all good. Seems the only people who don’t throw that phrase around are agents and publishers. They are well aware that it’s not all good. In fact, much of it is crap.
I know for a fact that my writing is not all good, not by a long shot. There are some gems in my notebook and on my computer, too, but you have to know where to look. And you have to know what to overlook.
One thing is sure—I’ll never let any of my characters say: “It’s all good”, partly because I loathe that phrase and partly because it never is.