Living by Invitation

Some nice advice from Tony Rathburn
 
living by invitation…

things i’ve learned from the practice of cabeceo…

gentlemen…
if she doesn’t look in your direction…
you can’t invite…
period…

if she looks in your direction…
she may be inviting an invitation…
or, she may have just seen you for some random reason…

if it is an invitation…
yes… no… maybe… and, maybe later…
are all acceptable answers…
otherwise… its a demand… not an invitation…

regardless of reply…
no explanations are required…
and none should be requested…

the fact that she did not accept your invitation…
does NOT preclude her accepting another invitation…
including two seconds later…
there is no ‘penalty box’…
that is a B.S. concept invented by, and perpetuated by, manipulators…

you can acknowledge another person’s existence…
without either inviting or accepting…
there is nothing wrong…
with acknowledging another’s existence…
and neither inviting… or accepting…

that she doesn’t appear to have seen you…
is NOT an acceptable excuse…
for putting yourself directly in her space…

if you are staring at her…
anywhere close enough…
that it is possible for the two of you to physically touch…
you are invading her space…

the double, double-digit rule…
if she doesn’t look your way…
in under ten seconds…
from ten feet away…
she saw you…
she’s not interested…
or… she’s currently unavailable…
the reason why is unimportant…

the triple double rule…
if you’ve attempted the double, double-digit rule…
ten times… (probably much less)…
and she still hasn’t acknowledged you…
you might want to consider yourself a stalker…

her eyes aren’t THAT bad…
if she isn’t aware of you from ten feet away…
and she has neither a white cane…
nor a service dog…
she is intentionally unaware of you…
and, no… that doesn’t justify the invasion of her space…

if you think there is any reason to abandon cabeceo…
and directly put yourself in her space…
to make your desired behavior clear…
you need to reread the above…
or… you need to acknowledge that you really don’t care what she wants…
so long as you get what you want…

if she does not accept your invitation…
you are not entitled to…
speak badly of her…
think badly of her…
bitch…
or otherwise degrade her…
she declined…
nothing more…

whether she’s danced with you before… or not…
you are still entitled to nothing…
she deserves the respect of an invitation…
EVERY time…
and all of the same measures of respect apply…

if you have extended an invitation…
and she has accepted…
go to her…
no… meeting her half way is not sufficient…

she accepted a specific invitation…
no other expectations are implicit…

at the end of the tanda…
say thank you…
and… walk her back to her table…

ladies…
i am not going to fight for your attention…
invite my invitation…

the fact that you would like to dance with a particular ‘him’…
does not mean that he is responsible to invite…
an invitation for a cabeceo is no different than the cabeceo…
all of the above apply…
it is as much your responsibility to be clear… as it is his…

if you want an invitation…
look at me…
i won’t invite someone who doesn’t want an invitation…

i generally invite someone i know…

i generally invite someone that i might like to know…
give me a reason to want to invite you…
(~ crossed arms and a scowl… are not one of those reasons…)

no… imposing your wants directly on me…
simply because you want something…
is also unacceptable…
and… don’t be surprised if i decline…
simply on principle…

if i don’t know you…
i am completely open to meeting new people…
you don’t have to tell me you want to dance…

if you accept less than the respect of a cabeceo from others…
you reduce, or eliminate, the possibility…
to be treated with the respect you deserve…

for both…
living by invitation is basic respect…
you are not entitled to disrespect another…
and justify it as getting what you want…
nor are you entitled to expect the other to go out of their way to extend an invitation that you haven’t invited…

you are in a room full of people who are there to enjoy their evening…
not to make sure you have a good evening…
you are responsible…
for making yourself an attractive part of their evening…

if you have decided…
that you do not wish to practice cabeceo…
or, that you do not like it…
because you do not get what you want…
because your community doesn’t use it…
for any reason…
that… is your option…
but… select that option…
knowing what you are surrendering in the process…

if you think this was only a note about tango…
and, not about a way of interacting with anyone in your life…
you might want to read it again…

 
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