It becomes pretty clear by age 32 that there are two types of people in life: helpers and hindrances. Granted, if you're some kind of international terrorist who's looking to blow up the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind., (search engine teaser) and the "hindrances" are those trying to stop you and the "helpers" are your abettors, well, then that might knock the whole model out of whack. But generally, you can expect certain people to be quick with a smile, a kind word or helping hand and others to be self-centered emotional/spiritual drains.
It doesn't always shake out so easily, yes. Even the best of friends who would help each other to the end don't always agree and can get in each other's way. I guess I'm talking about consistency — for good or bad. My boss at my first job here in Chicago told me to view my function as a gate through which information flowed freely and easily. Those who had performed the position badly, he said, were more like big rocks that information flowed around — obstacles.
Erika spent some of her day dealing with such obstacles out in the suburbs. I ask you to keep her step-father, John — a good man who has helped us so much with this house — in your thoughts and prayers as he prepares for a major surgery. There are some who didn't quite grasp the gravity of this situation, preferring to attempt to wrestle the spotlight for themselves in some perverse manner. It saddens and angers me that Erika had to spend even one second today dealing with these kind of people — hindrances.
Maybe this is more succinct: It's not always about you. When someone's life is in danger, don't be a fucking dickhead. Grow up. … Yes, I think that'll work for 11 p.m.