‘Orange Is the New Black’ Teaches Life Lessons Beyond the Bars #31WriteNow


I’m tardy for the party, but I couldn’t go another day without writing about Orange is the New Black. The Netflix original series has taken media by story, and rightly so. I had no idea what OITNB was, let alone that it was based on a memoir by Piper Kerman. A couple of weeks later, I went into watching it blindly, only a segment from the Melissa Harris Perry Show as a prompt that it was worth a watch. Best decision ever. I’m halfway through the season (Sorry, I can’t binge watch TV).

Piper Chatman, a quirky ex-lesbian, finds herself in jail for 18 months after being convicted of involvement in a drug ring.  Up until that point, she’d been engaged to her boyfriend and living a very upper middle-class life full of iPhones, iced coffees and Toms.

Without any spoilers, here are a few reasons I love this show:

Everyone has a story.

More than the main character, the series focused on each woman character and her story leading up to her imprisonment. The women who are mean, guarded, happy, even though they’re stuck in prison all had lives before they entered those doors. What happened to them to cause them a stint to the Big House wasn’t always their faults, but merely a result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or maybe they willingly committed a crime, but for good reason. There’s a motivation and reason behind everything we do and everything we become. The same rules apply for us outside of the prison.That person who you think is the most awful person on the planet, or the coldest wasn’t always that way.

You can’t escape rites of passage. 

Piper’s life was a living hell the first few weeks in prison. No matter how much the women tried to show her ropes to make the transition easier, she made a mistake anyway that she had to learn from. Sounds like life to me.

You can bounce back if you’re innovative. 

Piper used her smarts to make her life in prison better than what it was. There, no one cared about her education, her upcoming body care line or whatever. She had to adapt to her situation and change her way of thinking to come up with a way around her obstacle.

When someone spazzes out in mid-sentence, you’re dealing with a real one.

No background needed. Just fall in line or stay away…Hey Crazy Eyes.

The line between selfishness and being true to yourself is almost invisible sometimes. 

Sophia, one of my favorite characters was honest to a fault. In her quest to become the woman she always wanted to become, she embarrassed her family and But she was still honoring her true self. Well, not really…just watch it.


I’m a Grown Woman #31WriteNow

Let’s talk about being grown. And being a woman.

So I’ve been wanting to write about this for awhile, but never got around to it. After swapping perspectives with a few girlfriends, I put it to bed because I didn’t know how to introduce it in writing form. Then came Beyonce.

I know, I know…Her. AGAIN.

She finally released the full version of “Grown Woman” yesterday after that tease snippet of a Pepsi commercial in March. Then, I didn’t like it. I thought, “Okay Bey, who are you talking to exactly and who cares?  You’re married and have been, a mother over 30.  And don’t forget a one-woman empire. We get it:you’re grown, boo. Next.” I took time to listen to the words after being transfixed on the African beat, and yes, Bey. Yes.

They love the way I walk
‘Cause I walk with a vengeance
And they listen to me when I talk
‘Cause I ain’t pretending
It took a while, now I understand
Just where I’m going
I know the world and I know who I am
‘Bout time I show it

I guess sometimes you gotta let the people know in case they forgot.

I still grapple with age occasionally and have said that I often don’t feel like an adult. Sometimes I do feel like a kid who just so happens to have a job and make my own living. Almost like it was something I fell into, though I know it had to be intentional whether I wanted it to be or not. Sometimes I “look” the part, then sometimes I don’t. Then there are more times when I feel like a woman, which is different than feeling like an adult. It’s not always when a teenager or kid has addressed me as “ma’am” (grrrr) , I get a second (or third) glance from a man or my mom telling me I’m “almost middle-aged ” that tells me either.

Sometimes it’s just a feeling. I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe when I’m getting dressed to go out or when I’ve nailed something at work. Or a quick glance in the mirror. Something just clicks. I imagine it’s different for every woman.

So my question is: What makes you feel like a GROWN WOMAN? Is it the ability to live on your own? Put it down in the bedroom? Motherhood? Taking care of a spouse or mater? Handling your affairs in a proper way, personal or professional? Body shape? Do tell!

Y’all know I wouldn’t let you leave without hearing the song, right?


Let’s Try This Again #31WriteNow

Here I go, here I go, I here I go again…I said that in my Pepa “Shoop” voice, by the way. Here I go trying to do yet another blog post challenge. A few months ago, I tried unsuccessfully to do the #30for30 challenge. I tried my hand at a fiction, which I’m still getting shoulder taps to finish and other random short posts. Then here comes my linesister, posting a link to Luvvie about this #31WriteNow challenge. Thirty-one days is long time, but I definitely need the discipline to push my writing along. I have a terrible habit of starting something, but not finishing it. Hey, atleast I’m aware. I guess Tisha Campbell was right when she said “you gotta push until you get it right.”

Just to be clear, I’m already a day behind, so this will definitely count as a post. Writing is writing.