The Simple Rule

On the unexpected use of English articles in the matter of choosing a partner
I've recently read about an interesting point of view on beauty salons. The author came once to a new salon, and it was beautiful, clean, comfortable, with tasty coffee and a pleasant receptionist. The master turned out to be nice too. His work was done well, so the author was satisfied.

However there's one thing.

That beauty salon hasn't become the one and only for the author. It hasn't become "the"_salon for him and remained one of the many usual salons, just "a"_salon.

The reasons are not very important in this case (especially since the author hasn't specified them). The main idea is, to be a good salon does not mean to sink into client's heart forever.

It is obvious that for the author the beauty salon is just an example. For me it's interesting to talk about "the"/"a"-dancers.

During my short tango life I've heard thousands of stories about partners from the girls. So, you know, I've discovered an empirical rule that allows to understand very quickly and easy whether the person is "the" or not. Whether the person is that one who is the reason for you to come to milonga or to go to another country for a marathon or not.

It is a very simple rule.
I've heard thousands of stories about partners from girls during my short tango life.
If you describe him or her "by contradiction" and using "not"-particle (e.g. "not_bad"), so the partner is "a".

"Well, he's good, of course", "she dances quite well", "his embrace is pretty good" – these are the obvious signs of "a"-partner. "The'-partners are usually described with a very special intonation. It's like aт exclamation of admiration "He is SOOOOOOOOO…….", and you immediately understand everything.

Of course, the most interesting is the question "How do I understand that the partner is "the"?"

Well, I remember a beautiful quote for this situation: "there are only two of us left, her, me and my bulging eyes."

Of course usually I understand that the partner is "the" before the moment my eyes become like that. The question is, how? What do I pay attention to, what is important to me?

I've been thinking about it a while and now I realize that two circumstances should coincide to make such a conclusion. First, I should feel comfortable with this partner in general. Second, this person must have some unusual quality that attracts me.

Speaking about the first point, I have pretty low expectations of the partner's technic. This allows me to dance without any problems with a wide range of partners. So this point is important when I don't find any attractive special quality or characteristic in my partner except dancing. Sometimes I am not interested in another person at all, sometimes I don't like his or her perfume or clothes, or how he or she dances with someone else. Sometimes I don't like that the person drinks alcohol or smokes or curses like a sailor.

Yes, in fact, there are many reasons for us not to like the other person.

If nothing makes me dislike a concrete person and I feel comfortable, then there is a second point, some unusual quality attracting me.

It may have nothing to do with dancing at all. Usually I am attracted by something like nice smell of her hair, special embrace, her breath or glance, micromotions of her body or her smile which I can feel with my cheek while dancing. Or it may be long and heavy earrings, or her casual dress without underwear. Her gently looking at me. Slightly opened lips. Smile, felt by the cheek.

It might seem funny to choose the partner by the way she pokes her smile on your cheek, of course. But it is as it is.
It might seem funny to choose the partner by the way she pokes her smile on your cheek, but it is as it is.
It always seemed to me a strange idea to choose partners according to their dance levels. After all we're not beginners to be able to dance only with cool dancers, are we?

Dancing level is a minimum. It's a borderline we have to cross just to be considered as potential partners. The more one dances and practices, the more his or her dancing level increases, so it gets easier to share it with another person. Therefore, increasing our own skill level we have less expectations about the partner's.

However sometimes you meet a nice girl who dances quite well (or not_bad), but she doesn't sink into your heart immediately when you first see her. She is not "the"-partner. God knows what lacks. Maybe it's just because you are not really attentive to notice something special in another person.

My logic doesn't help me in understanding why such things happen. All that I have are just the littlest things that I can't describe and that make the person "the"-partner for me, and that's wonderful.
Author: Vladimir Krylov. Translation: Dunya Valova.
Opinions expressed in articles within this blog may not coincide with those of the editor.
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