It was a hard week here in the Garden of Eden. (Ohio is that rare place with you can grow nearly anything: many temperate zones, lots of water.)

But it was a hard week.

A friend — celebrating his 49th birthday — called me to say hello. "I’ve been a little depressed," he told me. "So I asked my wife about it [she’s a professional therapist] and told her how I feel and why: The financial markets. The Presidential campaign. The war. The weather."

His wife’s answer: "This is situational depression. That’s OK. With what’s going on, you should feel a little depressed." Happy birthday.

In other words, if you aren’t a little depressed these days, perhaps there’s something wrong with you.

What if you woke up happy today? Go see a therapist.

Home Alone.
Well, anyway, another friend felt bad one day this week  — and stayed home from school — spending the morning reading a great book. Near lunchtime, the book was finished and she hungered for its sequel.

Alone in the house, hungry for the specific book, she followed her heart: she checked the web, found a store that carried the book, and wondered, "Am I allowed to set out by bicycle to get the book?"

Hey, sometimes, midway through a sickday, you rally. Are you allowed to get fresh air? Or is that playing hooky? Are you allowed to cut the grass? Or must you be in bed moaning?

Checking on my young friend, I learned — through the miracle of text message — that she was considering crossing town en Schwinn.

"You’d be truant," I typed back. "Don’t. I’d have to come get you."

Which led to this thought…

Schooldays Are Rated R.
School-age students (even ones who are capable of fending for themselves) are not allowed outside during school days, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. Why the R rating? Perhaps it’s because of occasional inappropriate language.

Before school, breakfasts are rated G. Suitable for the entire family. Same with after school, and into the evening.

After curfew, the great outdoors is again rated R.

And, in the wee hours, the world is rated X. No kids. The only ones allowed out are those who are willing to slink into XXX movies and whiskey joints. (And, of course, people who must do honest overnight work — in hospitals, firehouses, whiskey joints.)

As Brooks Young once said, "During those hours there are only two types of people out: victims and perpetrators. You need to know which one you are."

He looked at me with an expression that said, "…and I know which one you are."