Tango: my life as a not-so-good leader

And you thought that YOU were the worst dancer in the world ?

Monday, April 25, 2005

The first digit is four 

Half past midnight. Dilemma. Leaving right now the all-night milonga and getting today's last metro, or staying up to 5 a.m and getting tomorrow's first metro? Usually it's not a dilemma at all. I feel uncomfortable in milongas and I'm happy to leave early. Basically I'm not ready yet for milongas. Indeed, I only go when I'm asked to by some tango classmate.

And here, the person who asked me to come wasn't even a classmate, she was a close friend of my tuesday dance partner's. I hardly knew her. Blonde, student in biology or something. We had just danced once beforehand, which had been enough for me to realize that, apart from being young, thin and lovely she was also better than any of my regular partners; enough to wish she would become one of these regulars.
But in the last message she had left on my answering machine she had mentioned she was not feeling too well and that she would be late.
I wasn't sure what to do. On one hand I had given my word, on the other hand she had not come yet, I knew nobody here and the "bar" had only soft drinks. Finally I did what we males always do in this case and decided to stay. (Interpret this the way you wish. Either it means that we're faithful to our word, or it means we'd rather do the most unsensible things than miss the opportunity of spending some time with an attractive creature.)

Finally she came, apologized for being late, explained she had been sick and tired but had taken a lot of pills and vitamins.

In the same situation I would undoubtedly have stayed home. Here I remembered she had left me three messages this week, and two e-mails. Always related with today's milonga, but still... I began to feel she was not behaving with me like just a tango partner.
Now she was dancing mainly with the mediocre me, despite the presence of many good leaders; after a tango or two with someone else she was immediately coming back, instead of chatting a little while with the guy she had just danced with; when not dancing she rested her head on my shoulder ("I'm soooo tired...."), when dancing she came much closer than needed for a tango...

I would have liked to respond somehow to the stimulus. Putting my arm around her shoulder, or maybe playing with her hand ("And how do you prefer your hand to be held when dancing? Like this? Or like this? Or..."). But obviously there was something she was not aware of: the abysmal gap in age. She is in her early twenties, it would make more sense for me to be dating her mother.

When I left at half past 5 she left too. We walked to the station and sat. Her head found once again my shoulder. She kept asking questions.
"-) And you and your tango partner [her close friend], are you, er...more than partners, do you see each other outside the classes?
-) No, only for the classes.
-) What's your age? I've asked your partner but she said she was unable to give even a rough estimate."
Here we are, I thought.
"-) Well, the first digit is four."

The blond head moved away.
"Are you sure? I mean, you don't look that ol..., well, I mean you look much younger, well, no, I mean..."
I relieved her from her embarrassment:
"-) You mentioned earlier that you were searching for a tango partner to take classes. Did you have a specific day or teacher in mind?
-) Er....no, no, it was only a rhetorical question, this year it's too late anyway, all the classes are full booked. And next year I'll be spending six months in the Galapagos, to study the DNA sequencing of cuttlefishes."

posted by Pablo  # 6:24 AM
Tango is it a dance or a way of living ;-)

Thanks for sharing your experiences
Regards from another person whos first digit is four
IMHO you should stop being so honest so early. Or at least decide what to do with the her before telling her about the maths... If you look younger, use it. The first digit problem finishes after she is older than 30. With pre30s I suggest you play along. She probably suspected how old are you, but a girl of her age still wants to believe in things. When you told her about the digit 4 it was a message to her that YOU consider yourself too old and it would be improper... If you show that you don't care (thus don't tell her your age) it is going to be a bliss to her: you allow her to live this fantasy.
Of course I might be wrong. No-one can tell what happens in a given situation. But you should consider...

DNA sequencing of cuttlefish! haha,
Pablo take it as a compliment that one you find attractive made a few overtures.

My fiancee and I enjoy your charming writing. Isn't the best Tango, internal?

Beyond the external shell, someday followers will swoon to your experienced milonguero ways.

Cheers from San Francisco. ps I met my soon to be wife through tango, so oddly it does happen.
Yes, right!
I really enjoy your writing. And no way I believe you have been on tango for just over one year! You certainly know a lot about it!

My age first digit will be 4 soon. And let me tell you, 3 years ago I met a wonderful tango partner, 14 years younger. Now we are happily married! :-)

Tango is life!
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