I just finished watching the entire first season of Orange Is The New Black on Netflix. After watching it all, and reflecting on the climatic end to the first season and how it came to that point, I realized Piper Chapman (the main character) and I are very much alike. The way she interacts with others, the way her relationships go – both friendships and lovers – and the way she always has the best intentions but it somehow backfires to look like she’s evil or up to no good. Let me give a brief overview of the show and then I’ll explain how it relates to my life.
WARNING: spoiler alert! If you don’t want details of the show given away, please read on after you’ve already watched it.
Piper and Alex had a relationship. It ended badly, on a very sour note. The anger of that break up made Alex report Piper (several years later) for the illegal drug activities that she had been involved with, which landed them both in prison. Before Piper ended up in prison she got together with Larry. They got engaged. Once the whole drug thing came down on Piper’s head, she told Larry about it, and he decided to support her and stay with her while she was serving her 14-month sentence. Once Piper got into prison, she took her first impression of the ladies she was regularly around and told Larry about it. She confided in him her fears, concerns, frustrations and woes. Then Larry wrote an article about how hard it was to be engaged to a prisoner. It got him a lot of attention and he ended up on a radio show. He talked about all her stories about the other inmates. While he talked, many of the inmates in the prison listened. All her first impressions and stories were exposed. This hurt a lot of feelings of the ladies she had become friends with. In the meantime, her and Alex, being imprisoned together, had fired up their romance again. Larry also assumed this, and Piper confessed it to him. She was undecided and back and forth between the 2 for a few days, but she ended up choosing Larry and losing Alex over it, then she lost Larry because of a conversation he had with Alex, and she lost a lot of friends and trust from the stories on the radio… bringing her to the major breaking point in the last episode (which I will kindly not reveal, for those of you who ignored my spoiler warning).
The reason I see this in myself is because I talk a lot as well. If I just meet someone, or if an acquaintance does something I find peculiar or unpleasant, I talk to my friends, family and/or lover about it. I talk about my first impression, or I tell my side of the story of the encounter. Or I’ll vent about what I found particularly unpleasant about the person. When I talk that way, I have confided in the person I speak to. However, like in the show, the people I talk to don’t keep anything in confidence either. Whatever I say is repeated, possibly twisted, misinterpreted, and misunderstood by the person hearing the story through someone else’s mouth. Then I get people upset with me for my “harsh opinions” or I get accused of trying to start rumors or drama. Which is never my intention. I feel I am very frequently misunderstood and mistaken for being a bitch when I am honestly either trying to vent or just have a normal conversation.
In the show, Piper seems to be just as confused about why her actions are causing so much chaos as I am in my life. Just like her, I am just trying to do what’s right, or at least keep the peace. And no matter what I end up doing or saying, I get accused of playing games, starting drama, lying, or being a psycho.
Seeing the extreme misconception of words and actions in a TV show is eye-opening. I know it really shouldn’t matter what people think of me, but if I could give some of those people a little insight as to what I think, or why I do what I do, I think it would be a lot easier to understand. Perhaps I wouldn’t have so many people talking shit about me.
Or maybe I have issues a lot worse than I think I do. Maybe I just need to quit talking about my life to my “trusted” friends, and keep all my opinions and stories to myself. Maybe I need more help that I originally thought.
I’m not really sure what I am to make of this just yet. But it was definitely eye-opening to see it from an outsider’s point of view.