Last night, for reasons of misc. old personal crap,* I decided that the thing I needed most (aside from hugs from loved ones, which are always on offer) was a few good dances. Tango: the greatest mood-enhancing drug of all!
The only option in my town midweek is usually the Tango Bar, which I have not had great luck with lately. But I figured at least one favorite partner would be there, since he is the DJ there, and even if I just danced with him, that might be enough.
As we know, I don't usually like to ask my partners verbally, even when no one is using the cabeceo; it's a hangup of mine. I'm always scared that I'll be disrupting what they want for themselves for the evening, or maybe I won't dance well, or whatever. I feel like, by asking them, I'll be imposing on them, the same way I sometimes feel forced by a verbal invitation, depending on the situation.
But last night, I decided to ignore those fears--because I was not willing to go there just to sit out. There were other things I could have been doing instead, and sitting out, building up even more of a pity party, would be worse for me than ever. And the atmosphere at the Tango Bar is very informal; hardly anyone cabeceos there, really. So how would the men know what I wanted, if I did not tell them?
(This, in fact, is my philosophy about relationships in general. People are not mind readers, after all...)
I kept my requests open-ended, making it clear that although I would love to dance with them, I did not need to do so This Instant. Even though I wanted to take initiative and take responsibility for my enjoyment, I didn't want to force them. (I always do that anyway, when I do ask verbally. I usually try to make it something along the lines of "I hope you'll save me a tanda.")
And I didn't say why I especially wanted to dance with them, because--well, they didn't need to know all that. Ultimately, it wasn't relevant, and I didn't want pity-dances (or to repel them with my neediness and inner ick). So I kept my request as simple as possible.
It succeeded beautifully. I got the dances I desired with the partners I enjoy.
In all likelihood, I think I would probably have danced with them even if I had not asked them; these are my regular partners at the Tango Bar. But this way I did not leave it up to chance so much. (Will they see me? Will they approach me?)
And it may be a fallacy to think that at least one of my dances (with the DJ) seemed extra-nice because I had requested it. After all, he's always a good partner, always considerate; that's part of why I like dancing with him.
It feels different, though, because last night, I put pride aside, somewhat. I revealed, to some degree, my need. I actively showed my appreciation for their dancing. I asked, and they provided--generously, abundantly.
It was just what I needed. I happily stayed to the end, just to hear "La Cumparsita" and, before that, some other songs that I like (alt. songs, for the nuevo kids, but I like to listen to them and sometimes wish I felt more comfortable dancing to them), even though I didn't really want to dance more. (Why try to top a good thing?) I sang all the way home.
I guess the moral might be, you never know when your partner might be hurting. You never know what a dance might mean to them--just as you never know how much a kind gesture might mean to anyone you meet in a day.
I should--must--learn to be so generous in my dancing.
*I will probably label a box that, the next time I move. Even though it would probably be better just to get rid of the contents. (OH LOOK, A METAPHOR.)
Mario Calarota - March 16, 1936 — Last night I decided to start calling the milongueros again on their birthdays as I had done for so many years. Today I called Mario. F...
4 days ago