At the end of a tango marathon a wonderful tanguera and I are dancing to some tragedy, everyone is very serious. The traffic is good, so when the following occurs, it catches me off guard: someone is pressing his back against mine — we didn’t crash; someone is deliberately and insistently pressing against me, like a bear pressing his back against a tree. Speechless, continuing to embrace my partner, I turn half-way back, and then — if you’ve seen Semeon, you’ll understand — slowly raise my head and see Semeon slyly smiling at me. I laugh, the tragedy is ruined, the practical joke is a hit.
The next day at the afterparty I really felt the essence of this wonderful trolling, when we lightly bumped backs with the couple behind us by accident — I was immediately amused, without getting irritated. It became clear to me that irritation was my first reaction to accidents on the dancefloor. Indeed, how can you not get irritated? Say, you’re dancing with a lovely tanguera to your favorite orchestra, you’re on cloud nine of kitty-trance, from which you’re being brazenly yanked by a hit, or — even worse — by a heel, followed by a "control shot" look of death, fired by the leader of the couple that hit you in the first place! Sometimes the question begs to be asked, when the trouble-navigator next to you throws his partner (what ronda?) from one free space to another, or when he "clears" the space around himself on a crowded dancefloor with an unending tornado of sharp heels: "Where are you right now? Are you even aware that there are people around you, that there is a lady in your arms?"
We get irritated when the world does not correspond to our expectations, when our worldview is at a dissonance with reality. You were expecting trance, but you received pain. You were expecting polite and sensitive gentlemen, but you’re next to a snob in the "you're all in my way" mode. Irritation in such cases is kind of a default reaction — like a muscle spasm when the doctor’s mallet hits your leg below the kneecap. Action — reaction. But irritation is just one of the ways to react when we experience cognitive dissonance. The reality of the matter is that we have a choice of our attitude toward this, and, therefore, we can choose the way, in which we respond.