Monday, September 5, 2016

At The Art Center: One Isn’t Enough!

I met James at the Art Center in Pacific Grove where I volunteered; he was the Volunteer Coordinator. James was engaging, warm, and inclusive. He never forgot a name or a face. 

During the little breaks that volunteers enjoyed, James would come and start a deep and genuine conversation about feelings, dreams, experiences or interests. 

I enjoyed our conversations; James usually started the conversation by saying, “What’s going on?” “Everything,” I replied. Then, we would laugh together.


The Entrance of The Art Center


We talked about everything; my day, his day, his dogs, my cat, his motorcycle, my car, his family in Seattle, my son and his friends. 
  
I found myself volunteering more at the Art Center. 

If I came late 10 minutes or so, James would greet me saying, “Where were you? You had the heart to keep me waiting! How could you?” I would laugh and start helping him right away. 


At first, I didn’t take James comments to mean anything other than nice compliments coming from a nice man. But then James took it a step further by saying, “I can’t start working unless you are here with me. Don’t be late.” When I read a book  during my breaks, James commented, “ I am here now, put it aside.”  


His protective attitude escalated, if I “dared” to talk to any man, James would lash out at me. He didn’t care if someone was listening or watching.

One day, Tom asked me, “Come, let’s sit together and have lunch.” I hesitated, but I finally sat on the other end of the long lunch table. 

Tom didn’t take it well at all. He talked to me saying, "Did you know what James did last weekend?”

“No. What did he do?” I asked.
Dancing Classes at the Art Center


“He took his girlfriend to the most expensive resort in town,” Tom said and made sure that James heard him. I looked at James and he looked away. I knew Tom was telling the truth.

I was shocked simply because, throughout all of the conversations, James didn’t say that he had a girlfriend. I also couldn’t understand why he was acting like he was interested in me. I started distancing myself from James, but he continued to come after me. But I didn’t want to infringe on his “girlfriend territory.” 

I didn’t know what to do, so I stopped volunteering at the Art Center unless the center called on me to help. 


James makes me wonder; is it enough for us to have one significant other? Can one person provide us with all of our emotional needs? Even though, I am inclined to say, “No! One person can’t do it all” I stopped seeing James. I couldn’t bear it on conscious to come between him and his girlfriend.  I also answered the question as I related to it, “Yes! For me, one person is enough.” Perhaps, I am a bit conservative for the 21st century. 

Should I Try to See James Again?


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mishka, I think you don't need to see James again. If he wants, he should ask you out.

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