sad state of affairs, a

sad state of affairs, a

An unhappy condition, unfortunate circumstances. The use of state of affairs to describe events or circumstances originated as the more ambiguous state of things, which was first recorded in 1555. Affairs began to be used about two centuries later. R. L. Green played on it in The Land of Lord High Tiger: “Sad affairs of State! Sad state of affairs! Affairs of a sad state.” It is sometimes put as sorry state of affairs.
See also: of, sad, state