The French, as so often happens, have a wonderfully apt term, l'esprit de l'escalier, "stairway wit." It's what happens when you think of that devastatingly clever thing you should have said, only when you've left the party and are on your way down the stairs (metaphorically speaking). Herewith, the brief, sad tale of this weekend's flirting fail.
I was dancing with a partner I like--we'll call him Mr. X--when all of a sudden, I felt his hips go loose and start wiggling all around. I think he was doing some adornments with his feet, but I couldn't (of course) see what he was up to. All I know is, he seemed to get some kind of serious Cuban motion going on!
I [laughing]: X, you've turned into a snake! [He is tall and slim, too.]
He: The better to bite you with!
What I should have said--nay, purred, in best femme fatale style: Why, X, how did you know?
What I actually said, in manner of flustered librarian: Good heavens!
[A few seconds pass, during which time aforementioned perfect response occurs to me.]
I [muttered]: Damn.
He: [Probably thinks I have stepped on my own foot again.]
So, yeah, femme fatale? I've got some way to go!* Oh well; I plan to shamelessly practice my wiles on the cute young guy I've been wanting to dance with for a while, at first opportunity. We'll see how that goes.
*However, I did get the chance to say (jokingly), in manner of Scarlett O'Hara, when I turned up for dinner with friends dressed rather smashingly--if I do say so--for tango later, "What, this old thing? Why, I only wear it when I don't care what I look like!" I have always wanted to say that!
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