Black Sheep over The Holidays

At this time of Thanksgiving when so many families get together to eat and visit, every family has at least one black sheep. Sometimes they attend the event, other times they “can’t get a ride.” These are folks who’ve done time, drugs, and crimes no one usually brings up or even knows about. I’ve always seen myself as the one to reach out. I’ve had my proverbial hand-slapped many times as well.

The movie “A River Runs Through it” gives some classic black sheep insight. Brad Pitt, Paul Maclean, says to Craig Sheffer, Norman Maclean, about his girlfriend’s “black sheep” brother who has gotten drunk on a fishing outing and passed out:

Maybe he just likes that you keep trying.

This reveals not only insight into what this man might need as a black sheep but also what Pitt’s character may appreciate. In the end he’s killed in a bar fight and no one can save him despite his family’s attempts to “keep trying.”

Perhaps the secret this season to getting along with our own black sheep is to “keep trying.” That may be rough or it may have some smooth spots with a few laughs over turkey and pumpkin pie. What about you? Any black sheep? Perhaps you’re the black sheep?

Author: Damien Riley

I'm a blogger, film critic, & podcaster with an MA in English from California State University, Fullerton. I teach public school, 4th grade as my primary occupation. My views on films and life are usually headstrong and often 'left of center' on movies and life, but I have respect for the other side. I married my high-desert princess (now my queen). We have 3 children.

2 thoughts on “Black Sheep over The Holidays”

  1. I think I am the black sheep. ;-) I think it depends. I don’t have any in my family, but I think we have to take it on a case-by-case basis. Kids are always worth fighting for, never give up on them, but sometimes we need to put up boundaries and quit giving all of our energy to those who would suck us dry and then hurt us and the people we love.

    Others are black sheep because of superficial factors. These people we should stand behind 100% & screw Auntie Bethany who gives your cousin’s nephew the nose in the air because he has an earring.

  2. @Heather: You leave really great comments. What about aunt Beth who comes to Thanksgiving loaded? Or cousin Bill who picks a fight with the in-laws? LOL. Oh, there’s a boquet of them out there I’m afraid.

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