So, as you might remember, on Friday afternoon, I was wondering if I should go salsa dancing that night with my friend Daisy Milliner (and an avid salsa-dancer she knows) at a place called S.O.B.'s in Soho.
By about 6pm, I'd convinced myself the whole salsa thing was way too dorky for the likes of moi. I decided I was going to stay home to make some more progress on Love in the Time of Cholera (the novel I'm currently reading, and really enjoying).
The main reason I was going to stay in was to avoid disappointment--which is basically my major M.O. in all things social. If some party or other leisure outing turns out to be boring or lame, I often get really annoyed that I've wasted the time to get ready and go to it when I could've been home reading! Or writing. Or doing something in some way productive, that might further the development of my brain. As a result, I make calculated decisions about how worthwhile some social event will be before I will agree to go. And many times, if I arrive and fear it's not going to be worth my while, I will leave without giving it much of a chance.
Then I realized that if I didn't go out to meet Daisy, I'd probably just stay in ... and read ... and start to think about how lonely I feel ... and I'd probably eventually cry.
And that plan did not sound good. Besides, isn't it my new personal philosophy to make an active effort to add more happiness to my life? And in that case, shouldn't I really give this salsa thing a shake?
So I agreed to go.
There was a dance lesson at 7pm that neither Daisy nor I would make it to in time. She liveas closer to S.O.B.'s so she met her friend there at 8pm. I arrived thirty minutes later ...
An enormous 10-piece band was spread out on the elevated stage. Beneath them, the small dance floor was quite full--maybe 30 couples, all in very close proximity. To the the left and right of the stage, people were eating dinner; and behind the dance floor was a bar area.
I spotted Daisy's shimmering blonde head and tiny little body; she was dancing with some older gentleman. A number of other older gentleman, many of them quite out of shape, were hanging around on the outskirts of the dance floor, not so much like vultures--vultures might have been exciting--but more like water buffalo lounging in the swamp.
Oh dear, I thought. Why in the name of Dionysus did I just blow 30 minutes getting ready and another 30 minutes traveling to get here? First of all, no one is ever going to ask me to dance. And second of all, I can't imagine I'd actually want to dance with any of them!
Though I probably hadn't been there a full three minutes yet, I was more or less ready to leave.
And then ... someone tapped me on the arm. "Would you like to dance?"
Both because I was relieved that I would be distracted from my thoughts, at least temporarily--and also because I wanted to be a good sport--I said yes before even getting a good look at him.
But when I did? I saw that he was ridiculously adorable. Skin the color of gingerbread and hair that was a few shades darker. Freckles all over his cute little face. Tall and thin, in jeans and a plaid shirt. His name was D----.
He was probably a little young for me--in the Baby Fireman range, most likely--but when has that stopped me?
As we first started out, I practically tripped over his feet a few times, and giggling nervously, apologized.
"I've never really done this," I said.
"It's all right," he said. "Watch me, and just move your feet like I move mine. Okay? This is the easiest step."
That boy could MOVE! He was an amazingly good dancer. I watched his feet for a second or two, got the easy step down ...
"Now put your hand on my shoulder," he said.
"Whenever I spin you, as soon as you complete the circle, take a quick step back with your left foot. Always your left foot."
Hmm ... right ... like this?
"You got it!" he said. "Now, you hear that cow bell? Whenever they ring it, stamp your heel."
Somehow, that little tip was really helpful; it "centered" me. And before I knew what was happening ... I was swinging my hips and maneuvering my elbows and we were really dancing!
"You're good!" he said.
He was great.
At one point, in between songs, I dashed over to Daisy and her friend to say a quick hello. Daisy was like, "You're so good! When did you become a salsa star?"
"Just now!" I told her. "And it's not me--it's him!"
I returned to the dance floor. A few more songs went by--we were twirling--and then he wrapped his arms around me for a big dip!
People were clapping when a young woman in a black-and-white striped shirt appeared at D----'s side.
"She and I are going to dance now," he told me, taking the woman's hand. "But maybe I can find you later or something."
He and this chick seemed to know each other quite well. Was she his girlfriend or something?
A few songs later, I saw them holding hands as they took a break from dancing.
C'est la vie. It was fun while it lasted.
Things went down hill rapidly from there. Some guy who was probably my age-ish and only maybe forty pounds overweight asked me to dance ... and then basically stood there not moving while limply swinging one of my hands. I excused myself ... only to be asked by an ENORMOUS gentleman if I'd like to get out on the dance floor. Since I thought it might be improper etiquette to say no, I agreed--and he kinda moved, but mostly held both of my wrists far too tightly, swinging them around back and forth in front of his chest. I bowed out VERY quickly. I was starting to appreciate just how good D---- really was.
Another guy, somewhat attractive, maybe 50ish, didn't really want to dance so much as to press me against his body. Yuck. Another older gentleman, wearing sunglasses, could actually dance fairly well--though he was no D----. But his breath smelled so much like vomit I had to duck away from him, too.
Finally, another youngish relatively attractive guy asked me to dance. That was kind of fun; we laughed a lot.
But over his shoulder, when I saw D---- leaving with his black-and-white-striped-shirt girl, I decided to skedaddle myself.
Had it been worth it, after all?
But also, um: D----, salsa virtuoso? If you're out there? Can we dance again?
In case you need any help rememembering who I am, this is what my glass slipper looked like:
And just in case you didn't get a very good look at them, this is the pattern of my stockings:
And this is what I was wearing (although I look a bit less like a satyr in real life):
D---? I think I love you! We could make nice babies together!
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Folks: Missed connections stories? Anyone ever have a succesful meet-up after placing or responding to one?
(PS: I love having Facebook fans. Here's my page, in case you want to become a part of it.)