Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I'm a fairly liberated woman. When I know what I want, I have no qualms bonking him on the head and dragging him back to the lair myself. The milonga, however, relies on a little more subtley.

The cabeceo an art. To do it well requires a woman to fine-tune her feminine wiles.

1) During the intermezzo, check out the room. This is the time to shop. Trust me, everyone is checking out prospective partners.

2) See the hot Italian guy you want to dance with? Look at him, smile at him, bat your baby browns. Work it. He'll get the message. If he looks away, don't be discouraged. Keep your sights on him. If he continues to look away everytime you look at him, move on.

3) During the first couple of notes of the tanda, look at your prospective partner. If he looks at you when the tanda begins, for godsake, don't look away. He'll think you're declining. This is no time to be shy.

4) If you've managed to peak his attention, you need to hold your gaze steady. When he gets up to walk toward your table, keep looking at him until he is standing before you. DO NOT GET UP UNTIL HE IS STANDING IN FRONT OF YOU. The reasons for this will be covered later.

5) Face the music, and dance.

Note to numero 4: Ladies, ladies, ladies...I know there are more men than women in the world, but we have got to be good to each other. Can't we all just get along? If the man wants to dance with the woman sitting beside you, and is giving all the signals of wanting to dance with her instead of with you, why...WHY do you get up and steal what is rightfully hers??? Why do you lean over to block her view of her prospective partner? Why do you immediately jump up to grab her partner?

I had a few women steal a few tandas that belonged to me. How did I know they belonged to me? Because he never took his eyes off me, even when he was standing near my table. But, being the kind, generous person I am, I kept my claws to myself so as not to embarass the other woman. An Argentine woman will not put up with this. In fact, some will never dance with the man ever again or will at least give him the cold shoulder for a few weeks. They argue that the other woman is a shameless, conniving ho-bag who knows exactly what she is doing. OK, maybe not a ho-bag, but definitely shameless and conniving.

True, mishaps do happen. Distances may be great, and you may be having a contact lens malfunction, but the key is waiting until he gets to your table. If no one stands up, and if he is still looking at you expectantly as you squint back at him, he is yours.