After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.
Sunday, March 02, 2008
A Difficult Post About Personal Responsibility
The people who should read this post probably won't. The ones I'm talking about for sure don't read tango blogs. So the rest of you should rest easy. And as a matter of fact, you might as well just skip on over to the next post as what I'm about to say doesn't apply to you.
So as much as it pains me to write about this delicate and sensitive topic, I have to, if only to just put it out there. Maybe it might help someone sometime to gain some awareness.
It's a problem in the milongas ever since I've danced tango in Buenos Aires. I know the lay of the land. I know that if I drink so much as a water at a milonga I need to pay for it. But how many times have I sat with unknown foreign women who just gathered up their shoes and left me with their bill? And women I didn't even know, who just happened to be sitting next to me.
And now that Ruben and I have a big table at Los Consagrados and extend an open invitation to everyone who cares to join us, this syndrome of forgetting to pay for consummations is multiplied. Last night were two who forgot, and it wasn't just water, but food and double espressos. I know it's only forgetting because they are distracted by the milonga and where they are going to next, and don't mean to "run out on the check." They are very nice women. (The funny thing is that it's always tourist women, not men, and not locals, who are all too aware of having to pay.)
I'm sure they never thought about what happens if they forget to cover their check, but it's the waitress who has to pay out of her tips.
Or if it's at our table, Ruben pays, so as to not stiff the waitress.
Those of us last night who were left at the table at the end of the milonga had a pow-wow, and it was decided that I (ME!) had to ask each and every person at our table when they left the milonga if they had paid their check. Ruben and I usually order a bottle of champagne, but people forget that the price should be shared if they drink a glassfull. Last night our group went through two bottles, but some didn't think about who was paying.
Any suggestions for me out there? I HATE this! If I could, I would invite everybody and pay for everybody (which we always do when it's Ruben's or my birthday). But we can't do it every week, as much as we'd love to. But we will never stiff the waitress.
I'm having fun too, dancing, and talking to everyone, and I don't want to be the check monitor.