[oasis]

[columns]


Kenneth Melanson

June 1997

A long way from yesterday...

Hidey-ho, fellow Oasis readers. I am back, big as life and twice as happy! Well, I am sorry to all of my fans that I haven't written much in the way of columns in the past little while, but things have been rather busy with me, up here in my corner of Canada.

Well, let's start off with a personal update. The day I am writing this is the day of my third month anniversary with my boyfriend Donovan, who I know will read this, so when it comes on line, HAPPY BELATED ANNIVERSARY! Things have been going great with Donovan. We do have some fights and disagreements, but all and all, things are normal as far as I am concerned. I couldn't be happier, and my friends are happy for me.

I recently got my marks back from school. It was a long and really nerve-wracking wait. I always fear the worst, I don't know why, I guess I've just always been that way. Anyway, I got them back and I did fine. I am still in honors. I did however, fail English lit. for the second time. English is not a good subject for me, or anyone in my family. I don't know why, we just don't seem to excel at reading literature. I can write poems and stories until the cows come home, but I can't seem to grasp literature. Oh well, I don't think I will use that much in life anyway, so there you go.

I also found out that one of my friends has been accepted to go to St. Mary's next year for his freshman year. I am so very proud of him. He is not out about being gay, I don't know what the 'status' is, but I am very proud of him, and hope to take him on a tour of campus one of these days. It's not a big campus, but it can be very confusing.

Other than that, there really hasn't been anything major going on in my life. Oh, I forgot. I have been taken off my medication program for my m.s. It was found that the medication we were being given was causing some patients to have heart conditions. I never had any trouble, but all the same, they wanted to take me off of it.

One last note, my friend Wes Quesenberry is graduating from Georgia College this month with an arts degree in history. Way to go Wes, congratulations and best wishes for you in your new job at GA Pacific. Well I guess that's the end of the updates. Now on to the topic I have chosen to write about.

* * *

What I want to talk about in this article is how things change. I made the title of this month's article sort of metaphoric because as many of us know, things change from day to day. In many ways, things with me and many other people change day to day.

In my case, I think the thing that has most changed is my sense of friendship, what it is, and how I want to portray that friendship, along with who I want to be friends with. As we all know, friends are a very important aspect in our lives. We need friends to talk to, and to help us through life's rough spots. The friends we make may seem like they are going to be around for a long time, however, like all things, this idea changes very quickly.

I know myself, over the last few months, I have been subconsciously weeding out the bad friends that I didn't want anymore, and keeping the good ones that I hope to have for the rest of my life. How do we come to be someone's friend? Well, that process is really easy. You basically strike up a conversation with someone and get to know them. Over time, you find you have similar interests, and things grow from there. However, this friendship doesn't always last. I remember in my valedictorian speech in high school, that I mentioned to the graduating class that the friendships we make in high school may falter, and we may drift apart, but if it is a true friendship, it will last a lifetime. I know that was the case with some friends of mine in high school, but not with some others. My friend Colleen, I think, is the only constant friend from high school that is left. I have drifted apart from the others, but I still consider them friends, and visa versa.

Most people do not wish to lose friends. It's something I personally dread. I never want to lose someone to talk to, however, it eventually comes down to a simple decision. Do I really want to know this person?

If the answer is "YES, I WANT TO," how did you come to that conclusion? Well, for me, I personally justify it in the sense that this person has a quality or qualities that I like, and that he or she has come to be someone I respect and trust, someone I can count on, and someone who knows they can count on me. Also this person tends to have some sort of "binding" interest or activity that is shared between us. For example, perhaps you work with someone, or are on a sports team, or go to the same church? These are people you should try to keep as your friend for life.

If the answer is "NO, I DO NOT WANT TO," ...well, then there is definitely something wrong here. It shouldn't be easy to say something like that about a friend, or come to that conclusion, but sometimes that happens. This person could be saying lies about you, and spreading rumors, or partaking in activities you don't believe are right and that go against your personal opinions, or, in the case of most of the friends I have lost, they've turned into complete and utter jerks, and you do not wish to hang around their unhealthy attitude.

Having a friend with what I call an unhealthy attitude can constitute a lot of things. For me, an unhealthy attitude is one where the person thinks only of him/herself, lies to me or other friends, or begins to spread or believe rumors about people that are UN-true, or they insult you constantly, whether it is behind your back, or to your face. In the case of spreading rumors, I have one person, who I wouldn't call a nemesis, but whom I can't stand. He believes he rules the irc channel I go on. However, it seems his power is failing. Oh well.

I know that a lot of the "former friends" I have, whom I no longer wish to speak too, or whom I don't associate with are in the category of "turned into jerks". Many of these people, I classified in this category when I first met them, but had hoped their attitudes would change. However, that was not the case. For example, my friend Chris's ex-boyfriend I classify as a jerk. (if you're reading this...well, now you know the truth). Most of my friends are very sarcastic and we poke fun at each other constantly, but we do apologize to each other afterward. However, in the ex-boyfriend's case, his jokes weren't jokes at all, they were meant to hurt my feelings. I believe he made these comments out of jealousy that I was out, and he wasn't. Needless to say, I'm glad to be rid of those "bad vibes."

Same thing holds true for a lot of people who are younger than me, who I felt were my friends. Most of these people shared common bonds with me, they went to my church or played the same sports I play (badminton or basketball). But over time, their attitudes and their ability to see the truth seemed to wane. They seemed to believe the rumors more than the truth...which is unfortunate. If there is one thing I can't stand in this world, it is people who spread rumors and people who believe them. My view on rumors is that 99% of them are bullshit and 1% are true...it's up to you to sort out which ones are and aren't true for yourself.

Losing friends is not easy. I know I was sad to let some of these friends drift away. In the case of Chris's ex, I was overjoyed. Some friend's departure are sudden, some take time. Some are heartfelt losses, others are not even noticed or cared about. But one thing is for certain, the friends I have now are ones that I know I can trust and that will be with me for years to come.

Well that's it...I am sorry that I haven't been around for a while, and I will try better to be on here more often.

Now its time for a reader assignment...yes, I am giving you a chance to help me write my next column. I plan to talk about government parties and how they are pro-gay active or anti-gay active. Since Canada is in the middle of an federal election, I want to find out what you think about the parties that run for political office in your area, and how they stand on gay rights. So, if you could e-mail me and tell me a little about your area, and the politics of it, it would be greatly appreciated. I will try to include your information in my column, and you will be accredited at the for helping me. (If you are not out, and do not wish to be mentioned, just let me know!) This is how you can contact me:

You can e-mail me at Home or you can e-mail me at School. I will get back to you as soon as you e-mail. If you have any comments or suggestions about upcoming columns, or just want to say hello, please feel free to e-mail me. It would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you would like to check out my website, why don't you click right here!

Well I am glad to be back, and I hope you enjoyed my column! Have a great month, and remember, sex is fun, but safe sex is better, so protect yourself!


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