With the season 3 premiere of Orange is the New Black just around the corner, it’s high time to refresh ourselves on the wonderful, complicated, messy, relationships that form when one is behind bars.
I don’t know about you, but I’m always formulating my contingency plan for if and when the unthinkable happens, my past catches up with me, and I end up behind bars. When I watch OINTB, I study it like a manual, for how to survive in prison. So far, I’ve gleaned lots of great tips like, don’t mess with the person who makes your food, and use maxi pads to make eye masks! #lifelessons
Not to be overlooked, however, are all of the great relationship lessons we learn from watching Piper and her band of merry inmates bumble their way through incarceration. There are some real feels tucked up under Big Boo’s tough facade and Nikki’s biting sarcasm. Despite the dysfunction and absurdity of a lot of the drama, people are people, and these ones are surprisingly relatable.
So what love lessons did we learn from Orange is the New Black?
(WARNING: Spoilers ahead)
You can’t keep your prison wife locked up with you forever
Real Life Lesson: If you love them, let them go.
One touching Orange is the New Black moment was when Tricia taught us that you can’t force someone to stay with you. When she uses extreme (and illegal), measures to try and keep her prison wife Mercy locked up in order to avoid losing her, we realize just how desperate it is when we do these things in real life. It’s obvious that she’s doing it to assuage her own insecurity and fear of being alone, and we all know that that never really works out. In the end, Tricia has to let Mercy go, and just trust that she’ll still be there on the other side.
Don’t lie about which corrections officer is your baby daddy
Real Life Lesson: Lying about something important is never going to end well
Big lies, little lies, they all catch up with us in the end. At first, when we’re backed into a corner and things seem really bad, we might think it’s a good idea to tell a lie. When Daya tells everyone that she’s pregnant and the father is officer Mendez in order to save her real love, Officer Bennett, I think even she knows it’s not going to work out long term. Rather than make the situation any better, instead she only succeeds in creating the pitiable, albeit hilarious, situation with Mendez falling in love with her and committing to taking care of her baby. We’re still unsure how that quagmire will play out.
Your fiancé is probably going to cheat on you while you’re in prison
Real Life Lesson: Romantic partners are fallible
Larry and Piper both cheat on each other while she’s in the clink. The lesson? People need love and reassurance, sometimes in physical form, when they’re in stressful situations. It’s hard to communicate properly and resolve things when there’s a (in this case literal), wall between you.
If you suspect that your ex-drug dealing lover was the one who ratted you out to the police, you’re probably right
Real Life Lesson: People can change, but they probably won’t
Alex and Piper’s relationship was tumultuous from the beginning. Piper practiced willful ignorance and allowed herself to be manipulated in exchange for attention and excitement, and Alex always preyed on Piper’s insecurities and took advantage of her naiveté. When the time came, Alex sold her up the river to save her own skin. No surprises there. Both parties are at fault, really, but it’s worth recognizing that most people show you who they really are from the beginning. Alex was always looking out for number one. Only time will tell if either of them are worth trusting.
That guy who you’ve been stalking for the past year is probably not going to marry you
Real Life Lesson: He’s just not that into you
Sweet, sweet Morello, with her online credit card scams and her creep-tastic bubble baths. We’re kind of rooting for her, even though she’s obviously a bit loony tunes. Taking a field trip from prison to break into her ex’s house and wear his new girlfriend’s bath robe? Too far. Hers is a very extreme case of “He’s just not that into you.” It’s true though, that when we get caught up in a fantasy world, we don’t want to recognize the truth that someone might not be on the same page as we are in the relationship. It’s easier to keep ignoring the increasingly obvious signs and keep planning the wedding. Wake up girlfriend!