Sunday, April 29, 2012

No to Mr. Collins

Those pesky undesirable Jane Austen-esque suitors!  The more horrible they are, they more persistent they get.  Who could forget the famous scene in Pride and Prejudice, where Mr. Collins, the pompous, slimy cousin of the Bennetts, tries to propose to the heroine Elizabeth Bennett in the most condescending manner possible?

Don't you get it, man?  The answer is NO!

You may laugh, but indecent proposals may happen to you in Tango too!  Just to show you, here's a modernized version of the famous Pride and Prejudice scene, happening at a milonga near you:

Mr. Tango Collins (after having cornered Ms. Tango Lizzie even though she has been avoiding his cabeceo gaze all night):  Wanna dance?

Ms. Tango Lizzie: No thanks.

Mr. Tango Collins: You are just being shy.  I like shy girls - they're hot!  Almost as soon as I entered into the milonga, I singled you out as a desirable tango partner. You make me feel Tango Passion - I bet you can feel it too, baby. Dance with me - it'll be fun!

Ms. Tango Lizzie (looking elsewhere): I said no.

Mr. Tango Collins: Let me explain why you should say yes.  First off, I have the reputation of being a great dancer. Second, I am convinced that if you say yes, I will be very happy.  And third - my Tango teacher says that Tangueras should never refuse an invitation - it's not nice!  Why I'm asking you instead of so many hot young ladies at this milonga who are no doubt cat-fighting for a chance to go for a spin with me on the dance floor - well I know your Tango teachers aren't that great and you will be doing yourself a favour by dancing with me, because I am a great dancer.  I promise you that I won't yell at you if you trip on on my astounding triple enganche, triple colgada combo, even though I won't be pleased.  I'm fully aware that nobody can be quite as perfect as me.

Ms. Tango Lizzie: Offended - gives him the Evil Eye.

Mr. Tango Collins: I am not discouraged - it is trendy for Tangueras to say no the first, second, or even third time to a Tanguero they actually really want to say yes to.

Ms. Tango Lizzie: How about this - sod off!

Mr. Tango Collins (taken aback, but not completely deterred): I'll ask you again in a bit - and I expect you to say yes, because you are just playing hard to get to make me want to dance with you even more.

Ms. Tango Lizzie: You are completely delusional - I'm calling the police now.

Mr. Tango Collins: Come on!  How can you possibly refuse me?  I am a highly desirable partner.  I dance better than you, I've danced for longer than you, I have more Tango connections - heck, I have a resumé of having taken classes with - actually you can even say I've 'worked with' over 50 world-famous Tango professionals! I can even speak Spanish! You are not young, tall, skinny or athletic and your looks are only average.  It is highly unlikely that any other Tanguero will ask you dance tonight.  Don't miss your chance!

Ms. Tango Lizzie: Dials 911.  The big burly nurses from the insane asylum from which Mr. Tango Collins had escaped a mere 24 hours ago arrive.  They chase down Mr. Tango Collins, put him in a straitjacket, and drag him away.

Mr. Tango Collins (kicking and screaming): I know your mom and dad and I know they want you to dance with me - I'm going to tell on you and then you won't be able to refuse next time I ask!

OK, OK - I was exaggerating just a little bit when I wrote out the dialogue above - but really, some big headed Tangueros out there are thinking some or all of the above when a Tanguera refuses them!  I think most people (well, most people except the big-headed Tangueros) would agree, you've got to put these "Can't take no for an answer" buggers in their place.  However, we've received word from Chris of the UK that some teachers and organizers in his local community have mandated that no-one who goes to their classes or attends their milongas can say "No" to anyone else!

When we read Chris's comment, we thought: Fragile Egos? Low Self-Esteem? Can't Handle Rejection much? Do they want to turn back time on women's (and men's) lib to 3500 B.C. so that the little teeny weeny baby-men won't cry at the milonga?

What the "No Banners" don't get is this:  Everyone should have the personal freedom and right to say "No" to Mr. Wrong AND sometimes, it is entirely appropriate to say "No" to Mr. Right!  Just ask Jane Austen again:

Mr. Darcy may be "Mr. Right", but sometimes to you have to "No" him too!

Not only is Mr. Darcy "Man Enough" to handle rejection - he becomes a better person for it.  Why else would 88% of the women in the world want to live happily ever after with someone exactly like Mr. Darcy?

The final tally is this:

1.  No to Mr. Collins:  Lizzie doesn't have to endure Mr. Collins triple enganche triple colgada combo, and doesn't even have to sit at the side of the milonga danceless the whole night.  Indeed, Lizzie finds a much better match and happiness forever after with Mr. Darcy.

2.  No to Mr. Darcy:  Mr. Darcy realizes what an ass he has been despite all his beautiful walk and giros - works harder on his musicality and embrace and becomes the perfect Tanguero.

3.  Yes to Mr. Collins:  Charlotte hastily accepts Mr. Collins after Lizzie rejects him.  Sure, she's got a dance partner for life - but she doesn't really want to dance with him, and spends all her time avoiding being even at the same milongas as him.  When she has to dance with Mr. Collins, he keeps on teaching her on the dance floor because he doesn't know how to lead and now, he will never have the incentive to ever learn.  AND, none of the good Tangueros in the milonga would never dance with Charlotte knowing that she is the partner of Mr. Collins - as he is just a little teeny weeny baby-man, he really might start to cry!

1 comment:

jessiechung said...

Dear Irene and Man Yung,

This article makes us laugh so hard that we cry. The humour has a way to clarify the situations that happen to all of us. Thank you for the wonderful writing that makes our day. Best regards to you and Man Yung.

Jessie and Dorian

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