January 1999

So, what's a straight girl like you doing at a site like this?

I've actually gotten a lot of e-mail since I started airing my life at this particular forum. It's a lot of fun, because I find myself talking to a bunch of neat people.

Granted, being online there are other ways to meet people. But... let's be honest, Oasis tends to filter out the guys that IM me:

"What are your measurements?"

"Are you wearing shoes right now?"

"You really remind me of my ex-wife."

The few sickos who've sent me porno pics of themselves? They did not get my e-mail address here. The guy who somehow figured out my home address and sent me a birthday card? He's never heard of Oasis. All of those things have happened to me and... well, it gets a little freaky out there. But Oasis's readers are cool. You don't have to worry about including your e-mail address. With one exception everyone that has e-mailed me regarding Oasis has been totally cool. In real life, though, I can't really tell people about all the neat guys I talk to (I'm not excluding girls on purpose; they just don't e-mail me much.)

In fact, you might hate me for this, but only two people that I know in person know about Oasis. It's not that I'm embarrassed or living in fear of being labeled "gay-friendly" or something. It's just that some many questions come with saying something about it. Even the people that e-mail me regarding a specific column inevitably want to know "Why did you start sending stuff into Oasis?" It is because of the straight thing, I know. Breeder, hopelessly heterosexual, straight but not narrow. Call it what you will, it still means that I'm not the 'type' that sends stuff in. An explanation is in order so that you don't have to ask me if and when you drop me a line.

In high school, or perhaps shortly thereafter, a friend of mine submitted a column to Oasis. He loved writing so he was thrilled to see something that he wrote in a e-mag that he really respected. I followed the link that he so helpfully e-mailed and read his column. It was good. I started looking at all of the rest of the names and couldn't help myself. Next thing you know, I'm at Oasis the first of every month to get the next chapter in the saga of these peoples lives. I've used this metaphor before but so be it. Oasis is like a day-time drama,. only without Susan Lucci. It was interesting, and sad, to read. I started to feel like the enemy.

One theme kept being repeated in various forms. Why do they treat us the way that they do? I knew that I was a "they" despite my lack of homophobia. I felt horrible. So I decided to submit something. So I could separate myself from 'them'. So I could tell so many people that 'they' don't all hate. So I could air some of the things that happen that I can't tell my friends about, for one reason or another. I got hooked. I enjoyed the forum and loved talking to people that e-mailed me after reading what I had written. With any luck, maybe I remind someone every now and then that "we" aren't all evil (at most, many of us are just mildly annoying.)

(P.S. Oasis serves as therapy of sorts for me. I've discovered that you can't just walk around slapping stupid people. They get irrationally angry. You tell them that their stupidity made you do it and next thing you know you're saying "Are you sure it counts as battery, Officer?" Basically, it's just not feasible. So I air my grievances here rather than assaulting people that are not responsible for the fact that no one added any chlorine to their gene pool.)

Julie is a "straight but not narrow" college sophomore in Illinois. If she was writing for Dawson's Creek, Joey would dump Dawson on his sorry butt and take up with cutie brunet Jack. E-mail comments, or rants on Dawson's good qualities, to MazzyMae@aol.com.

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