TANGO BURN-OUT: Sometimes A Goddess Just Has to Chill
Thursday night is our usual tango night at El Beso. I get gussied up for a few whirls around on the dance floor and then dinner. Last night, I just wasn't feeling the urge to go through the whole production process...and it IS a production. After all, the Goddess is a GodDESS. Why, even Aphrodite had to bathe and perfume herself before she went on the hunt for an unsuspecting mortal lover. I'm not on the prowl, as I am happily hooked-up, but, still, I don't want to look like I've just rolled off the pilates mat all smelly and hair askew.
I wonder what the deal is with these occasional breaks I need to take. Sometimes, the milonga scene is just too much too take. After all the beautification, (which, hell, doesn't take THAT long, and, usually, I really enjoy the primping and preening), I feel as if I have to go to work. I mean, I never liked the whole pick-up bar scene anyway, and when I went dancing, it was usually with a bunch of girls I ended up dancing with the whole night. In the milonga, I have to sit and wait, follow the codes to get a dance invite, not be too eager or look like I'm too bored, look good, AND dance well. Then there's the gossiping, the pettiness, and cattiness that get on my last raw nerve. Sometimes, it's just too much work and bad ju-ju, and I'd much rather spend my time in my jammies watching King of The Hill...which I do every so often.
It is VITAL for people to have a life outside of the milonga, or you will wither away until you look like one of those old, hard-core milongueros who have nothing BUT the milonga. And, really, how interesting are they outside of the milonga? Have you spoken to one lately? They're not really that much more interesting during the milongas. Take a Spanish class; work out; take a non-tango dance class; travel outside of Buenos Aires; check out some museums; take in some theatre; meet non-tango people for cultural exchange talks over coffee. There is so much more to life than the milonga. Just check out the BA Herald or any one of the number of on-line BA resources. I knew that if I wanted to survive here and feel like a normal person, I would have to find other things to do with my time than dance. I'm glad I did.
Going to the milonga is a bi-weekly ritual my partner and I enjoy, but I also relish occasional breaks from the scene. After a week or so away from the milonga, absence makes my heart grow fonder, and I usually can't wait to go back. That's a nice feeling to have after 10 years of dancing.