On our first night in Buenos Aires, our taxi driver took us to a tango salon in Palermo. After a few hours of watching impassioned couples slinking around the floor, we decided–in a bout of overconfidence–to learn how to tango. There was some red wine involved. OK, an entire bottle.
The next day, in the mildly irritating light of morning, we booked two hours of instruction for each day of our visit, and began our search for tango shoes.
If you’ve never seen women’s tango shoes, imagine the kind of monstrosity fuck-me pumps you’d ordinarily find in a fetish Manga comic book. Now coat them with red and silver glitter, and affix a large leather rosebud to the ankle strap. Voila!
Bryan found a pair of attractive suede-soled sneakers in the first store we visited. I scanned rows of weapons-grade, structurally unsound affronts in varying degrees of sparkle. Did I want the purple and green sequin ones? Or maybe the orange reflective velvet ones with floral silhouettes burnt into the fabric? I finally found some black practice shoes with heels wider than toothpicks, but taller than necessary.
After 16 hours of tango instruction, the balls of my feet are like tender cutlets of raw chicken. You could bread and deep-fry them, and I’d find it soothing. I bought some of those silicone toe pads to ease the throbbing, and they’re so heavenly that walking feels vaguely obscene, like I should reciprocate somehow. I want to tile our kitchen floor with toe pads; I want to stuff them in my mouth. I’m pretty sure they’d taste like whipping cream.