Last week when I was in a shoe store there was a nicely dressed man talking to the owner. We were all talking. He was not a tango dancer, he was someone who was there to do business with the owner. I had things to do so I left.
I was surprised when he ran two blocks to catch up with me. "Wait." he said to me. "Where are you going?" It was flattering to have this attractive man run after me, especially since this was not one of my better days. It was raining. I had no umbrella, I didn't use much makeup, and my dress was sort of bohemian. "Back to Palermo" I said to him. He asked how I was going and said that he would take the bus with me. Hmmmm.
In any event, in a small conversation he managed to tell me he was an artist and his paintings were in a cafe, and he wanted to show them to me. Uh huh..well a cafe is not an apartment. I was charmed. So I agreed to go.
The cafe was beautiful and his paintings were magnificent. He said he is a partner with the owner in several ventures. He supplies all the designs and art. How could one not be charmed. We chatted for two hours about many things. I met the other partner. Another charmer. They asked me, perhaps I had another blond friend I could introduce to the partner. Maybe we could all go out together. Me have another blond friend? Oh indeed.
So I call my "other blond friend." I tell her what happened and she finds the whole thing pretty interesting. "A double date. Not only that. A blind date." She says. I tell her not to think of it that way. I think it is more like getting together with two guys who are different. She and I are always up for different. Like when we went to Rumy. But then that is another story.
We show up at the cafe around 9. First the artist comes to greet us. We sit down and chat. He is still charming and sweet. He talks about being an artist and how sensitive he is. Then the other partner comes. He winks at me. He says why don't we go to a table. It will be easier to talk.
For more than 3 hours they ply us with food and drink. Whatever we want. I have champagne. They order different plates for us. We talk about food. The other partner and I discover we have many common interests. My friend discovers that the artist and she like miga sandwiches slathered with butter and apples. Yeech. Many questions go round and round the table. We are foreigners and somewhat exotic. They are men recently separated. Hee, hee.
The people who work in the cafe are getting ready to leave. They suggest we move back to the couches. OK, I know this is going to be a problem. Maybe we should leave too. So here we are we TVs blaring music videos. I begin to feel a migraine coming on.
The artist moves in. "I want to bite your lips off." he says to me. I throw my hand to my mouth in horror. "No!" I say to him. "Don't act stupid." he says to me. "I want to kiss you. I want you." Oh how seductive, I think. I telll him "No." He is rather surprised. "Why not?" I personally cannot believe we are having this conversation. "I don't feel comfortable." I nod towards the other couple on the other couch. "We can go into the kitchen." he says. "No quiero." "Somos grandes." he says to me. "Obvio." I say back.
I have played this game before. When I was 15 years old. Now I get to play it again. I cannot believe at this age, men use guilt to get women to go to bed with them. It must work. Not with me. How seductive. He moves away. "I won't bother you anymore. I won't call you.." "OK." I say to him. "If that is what you want." Now he is backed into a corner. When I was 15 I would beg them. At this age, I don't care.
He looks at me. "Is this what you want?" I tell him "I want to get to know you. I think you are a nice person. I think you are interesting. I do not want to be pressured. If what you want is to pressure me into something, then I don't care if you call me again. If you want to know me as a person then this is something else." He thinks about it. "OK, but you will talk to me, you won't be angry?" "No,why would I be angry?" He doesn't know what to say. I think about someone else who I like much better. Why do I do this to myself? I must like it I suppose.
I glance over at the other couch. They are talking. I think the same thing is happening over there. I ask my friend if she wants to leave, she says yes. We are trying to extricate ourselves. She ends up back in conversation. My headache begins to get worse. I take a pill for it. I want to leave.
The artist is making conversation with me. He is talking about something. He tells me that he thinks my friend is more open minded than me. I tell him that if he likes her better then maybe he should go out with her. He is shocked. "You want me to go out with your friend?" "Well, I hardly know you and if you think she is better for you than me, maybe you should go out with her. It is OK. Not a big deal." American women, we are so weird.
Finally we get them to understand we need to leave. They walk us to the bus stop. Of course not the close bus stop. We miss two buses in the processes. While we wait for the bus, the artist is still trying to kiss me. I give him a little peck, but I am not about to have a make out session on Callao with him. I say to him "Why can't you be a gentleman like your friend? Look at him." For the moment, It appears the two of them are deep in conversation, but then I see my friend veer off to the side as the charmer moves in for the kiss.
I immediately move over take her arm push her over to where I was and go "Change partners." She starts to giggle. Of course they have no idea what we are talking about. She starts to explain to the artist and I to the charmer, but the bus is coming. We get on and call good bye.
"What did you think?" I ask. "They were nice." she said. And then we both started to laugh. Which one did you like? We start to laugh again. "Both of them." we say. "Change Partners." and we continue laughing.
In group tango classes people start out dancing in one couple, and then the teachers always call out "Change partners."