Eddy has been having some ongoing parental drama, and when I went to comment on his first post about it I found myself falling into what I tend to think of as "default mentor mode"... I do it with a lot of people... I used to do it all the time with Spike, I do it sometimes with J, I've done it multiple times at Camera Club, I've done it with about a hundred million other people, and, for some reason, out of all the people on my blogroll, I do it with Eddy.
Maybe it's just how I respond to people who either seem to be actively seeking my advice, or who I just feel like need the advice I have to give them. But I actually think it's more than that, because I'm sure that more than the "normal" number of people actually seek out my advice.
And it's something I've noticed about my interactions with younger gay men... a lot of them in the past have actively sought my opinion and advice on things. It happened a lot when I was doing this course at the Youth Health Service/drop in center place in town after I moved out of home (and incidentally the place I met my first boyfriend, the course, not the drop in center). Probably because I was one of the oldest in the course and I was out to Ma and not living at home. But I remember getting together with one of the guys at the pub one night so we could catch up, and we ended up discussing him coming out to his parents.
But it's not just matters of sexuality... Mikey from Camera Club brought his laptop in the other week to show me some shots he'd taken at a nude figure shoot where there were both male and female models, and he wanted my opinion on the male shots... which is fair enough, because I'm pretty much the solo authority on male nudes at that club.... or at least the only person who seems to take them. And Stu will often show me a couple of the shots he's not sure about entering and ask me which of them I think he should enter.
I know why J asks me things, because he knows that I'm never going to sugarcoat my response to him... he asked for my spin on a situation on MSN a couple of days ago and I replied with something along the lines of "Well, in a perfect world you never actually force him to have that conversation with you... but since you're second only to X as Lord of Confrontation..." (X being a mutal friend who wrote the book on confrontation)... his response was "That was blunt... Can I borrow the club when you're finished with it"... but he also knew I was right. He and I operate on that level of friendship where you can say the overly confronting thing and the other person 99.9% of the time knows that what you've said is absolutely true. But that's pretty much been the nature of our relationship since Day One... literally...
Maybe that's why people want my advice or opinion on things... if I know them well enough I'm not going to sugarcoat it for them.
It's not just me, Ma has the same thing going on... although I think that's because she broadcasts the wise and venerable thing rather than the non-sugarcoating thing...
I'm not saying that I'm all knowing and always have the answers and that's my people come to me... often times I have no answers and it's not even a situation I've actually been in... but I do seem to make people think, and they seem to appreciate what I tell them.
I actually think it goes deeper than that though... given what I believe about reincarnation I somehow have a feeling that this is one of the things that I've actually done before (the whole mentor thing) and I also think it's one of the things I'm supposed to do again on this turn of the wheel.
So be warned, if you ask for my opinion (and sometimes even if you don't) I will give it to you...