I suspect there are salsa Christmas parties, but it’s very difficult to imagine wise men from the East attending such parties, whereas in our milonga, the place is crammed with them. If ever there was a suitable dance for Christmas, it’s Argentine tango. The coming together, the connection, the bright lights in a darkened room, the ritual nature of the activity of dancing in a circle: it’s all so compatible with the Christmas spirit. What better expression of world peace than hugging each other endlessly?
A number of years ago, we hosted on a holiday night. I don’t remember exactly which one, we tend to forget such things. If tango is a sad thought that is danced, it was certainly a great evening to dance a lot. It turned out to be a glorious marketing fuck up, caused by the usual factors, stupidity and laziness. We had a grand total of sixteen guests, among them two people who were quite drunk and one that could have passed for Ebenezer Scrooge himself. There was a couple that very likely did not dance tango. If they did, we wouldn’t know, because they were immersed in a complicated relationship crisis all night long and were only talking to each other. The rest of the Netherlands was having dinner with ‘the family’.
How did we cope with that? Well, philosophically. This too shall pass, all is well, Nicht ärgern, nur wundern and all that jazz. We rationalised the hell out of that situation and actually had a wonderfully intimate night together, only dancing with team members, eating everything we brought ourselves, trying to remember all the other marketing fuck ups from the past (couldn’t remember them, of course) and looking forward to another year of crazy tango addicts frequenting our little establishment. This year, we actually open on Christmas Eve, December the 24th, just because it happens to be Tuesday night and we are honouring our word to always be open on Tuesdays. It is not a rational decision.
The lonely hearts’ club we rent our milonga space from traditionally puts Christmas trees and decorations in the room that seem to get more outrageous every year. We love them for it, and we stopped many years ago to falsely claim to our guests that we put them up ourselves. We shall be preparing eggnog, Thai soup and quiche to share food with the guests in the spirit of the season. There will most likely be Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra Christmas cortinas. I shall be bringing my wife and son, who don’t usually participate in dad’s affliction, but they are indulging me, because they love me. And l love them for that. Our landlord is surprising us this year. Besides the three Christmas trees, and various religious scenery displays there will be a huge illuminated magical beast: to protect us from all evil, I guess. I wonder if marketing fuck ups are a part of the repertoire. Merry Christmas to you all!