Sometimes it seems like the ladies’ room at a milonga is off-limits to most of the women. I agree that the facilities are not the best nor is the space adequate, but it’s the only place for us to prepare in privacy before we begin dancing.
I swear that there are women who don’t know the inside of the ladies’ room. They prefer to use the front row table on the dance floor as their dressing room. On many occasions I’ve wanted to ask women if they think no one sees them taking off clothing, changing shoes, putting on makeup, and combing hair at the table, all of which we can do comfortably in the ladies’ room. Perhaps they feel they save time at the table. Their preparation ritual is on display. Nothing goes unnoticed in a milonga. The only way to wash hands at the table is with gel alcohol; most women don’t bother to carry a bottle.
The women who get ready in the ladies’ room comment about the women who get ready at the table. There are a few women who change their shoes at the table and then go to the ladies’ room. I wonder why the ladies’ room isn’t their first stop.
A woman changing her shoes at the table has to bend over or lift the leg to buckle the shoes. In the process, her skirt is up and her bare feet exposed — a table-cloth doesn’t give privacy at the table. They don’t consider others nearby who may get a whiff of smelly shoes. It’s worse after a night of dancing.
It’s bad enough when we get assaulted in the ladies’ room by spray deodorant or perfume that isn’t ours. But this also happens in the milonga.
I couldn’t believe it. I thought I saw her spraying her underarms once while seated front and center in Lo de Celia. Then she did it again last week. What can you say to a woman who is so desperate to dance every tanda that she won’t even retire to the ladies’ room to spray her underarms in private? The scent reached me a few tables away in seconds.
What was she thinking? That no one noticed it? That the women seated on either side of her didn’t inhale the spray?
When it’s time to leave, there is another session of packing up and changing shoes at the table. Phew!
I’ll never forget Jorge’s response when a woman seated close to his table changed her shoes. He looked at me and pinched his nose.