And they’re off

Felisa and I traded places in Lo de Celia one Sunday so she didn’t have to turn around to talk with her friend at my table. This meant I was in the front row, not the second row as usual. I was immediately reminded of what racetrack announcers say when the horses leave the gate — and they’re off.

The women on either side were jittery like race horses at the gate. The tanda began and their heads moved like radar focusing on targets. One got up quickly as a man approached only to learn he had invited a woman in the second row. She was out of the gate too soon. The other woman wasn’t shy about initiating invitations herself hoping for the best as if she had a quota to meet. She, too, was there to win the race.

I prefer to sit in the second row. I wait for men to look my way, past the women in the front row. It’s nice to get an invitation from across the room for a tanda of my favorite orquesta from one who enjoys dancing with me, a winning combination every time. I will bet on it.


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