When I arrived at Lo de Celia on Wednesday, there was a very attractive local woman seated at my table. We exchanged greetings and then she asked me if the men want to dance because she wasn’t getting invited. I asked her where she normally goes to dance. Susana named the milongas Confiteria Ideal, Nuevo Chique, and Obelisco Tango. I know that women dance constantly at those milongas. Since this was her first visit to Lo de Celia, all I suggested was that she be patient. She commented that the women do lots of embellishments at Obelisco Tango, and she saw that was not the case in Lo de Celia. When I returned after a tanda, she was gone. She danced a couple of tandas, and I could tell from her body language that she wasn’t interested in sitting out. I imagine that she didn’t want to stay around waiting to see if other men were going to invite her when another milonga three blocks away has what she wants.
On Sunday, the hostess brought a foreign woman to my table, because it was the only available seat at 20:30. We exchanged greetings. She was about to change her shoes at the table, and I pointed her in the direction of the ladies’ room. This was her first visit to Lo de Celia, but not her first visit to Buenos Aires. She watched the dancing. She mentioned the orquestas at the beginning of the tanda. She wanted to dance, but waited patiently for an invitation. Thanks to Hugo, she got her first tanda so the men could decide if she was dance-worthy or not. She spoke Italian to me, and I answered in Spanish. When jet-lag started to kick in, I told her to hang in. The regulars who work in the morning leave at 22 hs., and there would be fewer women. She didn’t leave. She stayed until the end. I introduced her to two Italian-Argentine women who speak her language, and we recommended milongas for the week. We changed into our street shoes in the ladies’ room, walked down to the street, and waited for a radio taxi to take her to Palermo. Marina is a new face in the milonga that I won’t forget. And I know she’ll be coming to Lo de Celia on Wednesday.