Diagonally across the road from my home is a facility locals call the “Squirrel Farm.” An attractive Dutch Colonial with a full length porch, eyebrow windows and cedar shingle roof it’s a counseling center staffed by I don’t know how many therapists.
And its managed to convince me that mental health or the lack of it has nothing to with age, sex, income level, early childhood trauma, level of education or any commonly thought of cause. Instead it has everything to do with the cars people drive.
For example those who drive pick-up trucks, conversion vans and Harley Davidsons never seem to require any psycho-therapy. They’re all well adapted – comfortable in their skin. A conclusion impossible to avoid because there are never any of these vehicles parked across the street. Now I’m not saying there haven’t been only that in all my years of looking I never saw any.
On the other hand drivers of compact Toyotas, Nissans, and Hondas but especially Priuses and Volvos do need a lot of psycho-therapy because yes, they’re always well represented in the parking lot. Day in day out. Not the same ones of course, they come and go endlessly.
Interestingly the staff tends to drive the same vehicles as the mentally wounded – no pick-ups, vans or Harleys lots of Prius and Volvos just compact Toyotas, Nissans, and Hondas and a lot of Priuses and Volvos which must mean that the psycho-therapists themselves require just as much psycho-therapy as their patients do.
One of these days I’ll have to go over there and peek in the windows and find out whether their drinking coffee in between patients or laying around on each other’s couch complaining about their mother. Or maybe just laying around on the couches in each other’s arms. Who knows?
There are some anomalies which deserve some comment as well. One is that among all the compact Toyotas, Nissans, and Hondas not to mention the Prius and Volvos packing themselves in over there, there’s nary a red vehicle to be found. Sometimes a burgundy or cinnamon but never candy-apple or fire chief red. I asked my wife why this was so and opined that choosing color red for your P.O.V. bespoke a high degree of self-confidence. And so not the type of person who requires any bucking up. Hmmm? Good point. But might not the reverse be true that people purchase the red conveyance for other reasons entirely and then once behind the wheel that confident color inspires confidence. My wife thought about that for a moment and said that upon reflection the reason you don’t see any red cars is that “none of those losers want to call any attention to themselves.”
Another incongruity is that the patients are rarely accompanied. Always trudging in all by their lonesome while the normal medical arts resource always draws wives or husbands, mother and daughters. Indeed in my experience with doctor’s waiting room half if not more of the patients are always accompanied. What does that mean? So I put that question to my wife too. “Obviously” she answered “it’s because don’t have anybody in their life who cares about them, which is why you dumbo, they’re in therapy to begin with. Now don’t you have anything better to do than stare at that stupid building over there?”