Sunday, February 7, 2010

Gambling at the milonga

Dear Internet,

Here is more than you probably wanted to know about me: I have a funny way of knowing that I've been sitting out more than I'd usually prefer, at a milonga. (Other than my back getting stiff, my butt getting sore, my skirt making marks on the backs of my thighs, actually, um, having an objective sense of the amount of time I've spent dancing vs. sitting, and other ordinary and sensible indicators that are reasonably suitable for public discussion.)

I know I've been sitting out too much when I have to pee a lot over the course of an evening.

It makes sense, you know? Whether I'm sitting more or dancing more, I sip or gulp water all evening long. When you're exercising, your body uses more water. It's a sign of dehydration when you're hot but not sweating or you've been drinking water but don't have to urinate. So if I have to use the restroom several times in an evening (not just once; once probably just means I'm more or less properly hydrated), I know I haven't been getting enough exercise to use up the amount of water I've consumed.

Last night I went to the restroom several times, is what I'm saying, and I was unhappy about that.

But sometimes there is just no pleasing me...

So I get unhappy when I have to sit out a lot. Well, I say "have to," but around town, it's really more often "choose to [because am picky about music and partners]." But then I resolve to be less picky, and the results may be mixed. It's a risk. Like last night, when I danced with three new people.

1. New guy. (That is, new dancer. Also new partner for me, but that's understood here, isn't it?) Has fairly typical New Leader problems, as expected. Compounded for me, probably, by open-embrace lead.

Here's a tip I'd have liked to offer this fellow: Do not start hovering over a lady you want to ask to dance while she's still on the sidelines putting her dance shoes on. It's not the worst thing of this nature that a fellow could do, but it's kind of awkward. Especially if the lady doesn't really want to dance with you; it gets into "babysitting" territory (see Ney Melo's item 2).

2. Guy I've seen around a lot. Despite our frequently attending the same milongas over the last several years, he's never asked me to dance, and I, mentally putting him down as a snob (both because he never asked me and possibly because I may once have overheard him make some critical remark about something; so it goes, people), was afraid to ask him.

Was very glad I finally said "What the hell?" and asked him. I'm not going to claim our dance was perfect, by any means, but for my part, I mostly enjoyed it. I hope he felt the same and that we'll get to dance again soon.

3. An unknown open-embrace guy. This was a mixed result in itself. Once we found each other, we didn't do too badly--except when we reached near-cataclysmic levels of fail. Sorry, Guy, but I'm unused to having to peer at our feet to know that you've stuck your foot out and I should step over it. You have to lead it so I can tell, not just "hope that" I'll do it.

(He said that. Those words. Which was probably his attempt to be nice and not say, "Listen, you massive klutz, don't you know you're supposed to step over my foot?" To which the answer is, "No, not unless I can feel you leading that. Nyeah.")

So, yes, I tripped and nearly fell over his foot. That was not great. And I probably worked too hard at gripping his upper arm, instead of my usual lovely, relaxed (if I'm doing it right) hug around the leader's shoulders. And I felt sour when he did things like push me away and spin me. So for all that our dance had its good points, I found it strangely wearying and depressing, over all. I'd lay odds that he didn't end up enjoying it either, which I now feel bad about.

After that, I sat for a while longer and tried (a) not to sulk and (b) to find someone nice to dance with, to make it better (I hope that last partner was able to do that for himself too). But as the end of the milonga approached, I had to weigh whether I was likely to find such a one for the last tanda, if not for "La Cumparsita" (Dance it with the one you love! Obviously, not everyone always does)--and whether the last tanda was likely to be something I'd want to dance to. But the DJ began an alt. tanda for what, based on the time, had to be the last one. Right or wrong, I decided to cut my losses, and I left.

In other news, hemlines have soared to new heights at this particular milonga. According to one Tango Pal, this lady's dress was actually supposed to be a shirt. It's unclear to me whether Pal meant this as her own opinion on the matter--not that I would disagree, by any means--or whether this is an objective fact realized by the unfortunate wearer of said shirt.

The only thing I can say for sure is that it was unfortunate, and that I spent much of the evening placing unkind bets with myself as to how much of her ass this woman was going to end up flashing. (Answer: Quite a bit less than my cattiest estimates, but still too much. Any exposed ass is too much.)

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