This didn’t exactly just happen, but it feels like it did.
Some time ago, I felt a swelling of paternalistic pride and decided I wanted to be a Big Brother, so I could impart wisdom, fun, and support to someone in the process of growing up (as opposed to the usual club kids, who never do).
I went down to their headquarters and filled out lots of forms about my background and my goals and was interrogated face-to-face for a long time about my childhood, my intentions, how I defined child abuse, and other relevant issues.
The thing is, I just can’t lie, so I spent the interview being honest about my upbringing.
I spoke candidly about the good and bad.
I was brutally frank about the lack of adventure, excitement, and communication that plagued my early years–despite all the wonderful stuff–and how I wanted to make sure a young person had some of that available.
They didn’t end up telling me why I was rejected, but a friend who knows the system said Big Brothers don’t want anyone who is trying to make up for their own childhood.
They’d rather have a well adjusted person who grew up surrounded by nothing but pure fulfillment and could effortlessly pass that on.
I guess they feel such a person can transfer their glee to another generation rather than someone who is trying to compensate and who might repeat questionable mentoring skills.
But I was going to be such a great Big Brother, I swear. I would have shown my Little Brother a fun, productive, stimulating time.
What’s more, I couldn’t believe I’d been rejected for a free position!
Ever since they dissed me, I’ve needed one.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 17, 2012