You’re probably missing a unique tango event right now, as you are wasting precious time reading this article. In fact, you may even be missing registration deadlines for future events that are even more wonderful. Think of all those dances you’ll be missing. How many on an average marathon? Maybe 40 or 60! All wonderful, I’m sure. But you are not there. You’re attending birthday parties. And business meetings. You’re probably washing dishes, resetting passwords, paying bills, changing diapers, or trying to find another streaming service to replace Netflix. In any case, you’re missing out on something out there that’s much more exciting than your life.
Recognize it? If so, you may experience tango-FOMO, short for Fear Of Missing Out on a tango opportunity. I used to have this affliction. Constantly checking the agendas and announcements online, fretting about which event would fit the family and work schedule. Grinding my teeth in resentment during coffee with my in-laws, while other people than me were enjoying a festival or a favorite monthly milonga. Like a smoker craving for his next smoke. I would check the Facebook pictures and elated comments about the events afterward, confirming my fear of missing it.
I remember all this because there’s a post-pandemic feeding frenzy of tango events going on. It weirdly excites me. I feel a bit like our cats whenever I open the closet where we store the food. I also feel the flip side of it when I’m registered for an event even months away. Peace. My brain soothing me, whispering “you may be missing something now, but at least you have this”. The feeling lingers until I arrive at the event I’ve been waiting to happen. Everybody is starry-eyed until the first tango starts, and a new FOMO replaces the collective peacefulness. Which partners are we missing now, and what if we miss him or her altogether? That would be bad. I can see quiet desperation developing, like people at the end of a breadline realizing the stock will be gone, when it’s their turn. You see them preparing for this reality even before it comes about. Sometimes they’re so absorbed in their fate, they miss the cabaceos that could have saved them.
I’m done with all that, though. Possibly, age and experience have toughened me up. I learned to enjoy the anticipation but to suppress the FOMO. It reminds me of the joke an old colleague of mine loved to tell, after a few drinks, reflecting on the perspective of the old versus the young. The joke went like this. An old bull and a young bull are standing on a hill, looking down on a large herd of attractive cows grazing in the valley. “Let’s run down this hill and jump a nice cow!”, the young bull shouts, anxious with FOMO. The old bull looks at him knowingly, saying softly: “No, let’s stroll down quietly, jump all of them.” A totally unacceptable joke now, I know, but the colleague left Earth long ago. I hope you catch the philosophical concept behind it, anyway.
(A woman driving with us, on our way back from an event, told us she’s also done with the FOMO. ‘We meet each other at these events and just dance, dance. Can we for once talk to each other?’ A new FOMO appearing on the horizon, I guess.)
Published: 7 Apr 2023 @ 21:56
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