Tons of people are incarcerated these days, but men who are fresh out of the penitentiary hold an appeal that might not be obvious to your loving parents. Ex-cons are jacked (because of their time lifting weights and dodging shivs), well-read (because they had a whole lot of hours to fill), and have badass teardrop tattoos. But the traits that you consider SUPER sexy might be considered “just terrifying” by your parents. So here’s how to reframe his past criminal record and time in the pen so it sounds a little less “scary.” Here’s how:
Capitalize on the popularity of Orange Is The New Black.
Your powers of subtle misdirection will come in handy with this strategy. Your mother and her bridge club love Netflix’s runaway hit series, and you can leverage their interest in life behind bars to your benefit. Simply say that your boyfriend was a consultant on Orange Is The New Black and that the hours were so long that it was almost like he served 14 months on the state penitentiary! Distracting them with a joke works every time.
Tell your parents that he went to “Con College”
Among jail insiders, spending time in the slammer is affectionately called “attending Con College”. If you say this aloud, “Con College” sounds just like “Conn College.” Connecticut College is a fantastic school in New London, CT that your parents encouraged you to apply to. See how easy it is avoid disappointing by gently misleading? Behold, the power of homophones!
Regularly Sing the Praises of Former Jailbirds
In casual conversation, rave about the assorted achievements of Tim Allen, Martha Stewart, Don King, Jane Fonda, Matthew McConaghey, Buddy Cianci, Paul McCartney, and Mark Wahlberg. Force your parents to ponder the humanity of former lawbreakers using these celebrities with criminal rap sheets as examples. Or better yet, host a family viewing night during which you watch reruns of Home Improvement, then cue up The Dallas Buyers Club. If these creative types can have successful careers despite their run-ins with the law, there’s no telling where your petty weed dealer will go!
Remind them of the criminals in their midst.
If your parents belong to a country club, chances are they have shared some stiff drinks with a few white-collar criminals. Those white-collar criminals almost never serve hard time for their crimes—rather, they walk among us. And often tell pretty funny jokes and anecdotes over dinner! See, parents? An ex-con boyfriend will fit in swimmingly at the annual Memorial Day Clambake at the club! Plus, he’ll never embezzle their retirement fund.
Break out The Shawshank Redemption
The classic film, The Shawshank Redemption portrays jail as a simple world of ferocious friend loyalty and unending hope. Explain to your concerned parents that your new beau is just a modern-day Andy Dufresne—a man “who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side.” They’ll get it!
With these creative PR moves, you’ll have Snake playing charades with your folks in no time! Just cross your fingers the clue isn’t “choke.”