It Takes Two to Tango
A sultry Buenos Aires proposal
By Derek McIver
I proposed to Matthew during our August 2009 vacation to Buenos Aires, Argentina. He knew we were going to a spot in the Montserrat neighborhood to participate in a same-sex milonga to take tango lessons. Since the saying goes “it takes two to tango,” I thought that it would be a great opportunity to propose—especially since we were among other same-sex couples who could celebrate with us. (Buenos Aires is the self-proclaimed GLBT capital of Latin America and is very tolerant of the community. A few years back, civil unions were legalized in the city.)
Neither of us are dancers, so there was definitely some tripping and a little frustration. During the hour and a half instruction, I can’t say we made great strides, but we, at the very least, got the basics down. Thankfully, there were other novices among us, so we weren’t totally embarrassed. The wine helped a little, too. Afterward, however, some of the more seasoned dancers practiced on the dance floor, and watching them was beautiful. After a few songs, the instructor turned off the music, and announced that there were some Americans joining them for a surprise. I immediately got up and grabbed Matthew’s arm. He resisted, thinking I was asking him to dance, but I assured him it would be OK. We walked to the dance floor, I got on my knee, took the ring from my pocket, and said:
Matthew, te quiero muchisimo (Matthew, I love you very, very much)
No puedo imaginar mi vida sin ti (I can’t imagine my life without you)
Quiero bailar contigo para siempre (I want to dance with you forever)
Te quieres casar conmigo? (Will you marry me?)
Matthew was in shock (but managed to pull it together enough to say yes), the crowd cheered, and Matthew and I embraced each other and kissed for the better part of the next 30 minutes. Returning to our table, people came over to hug and kiss us, give us cheers (chin-chin!) and Matthew, being a bit of a tech-geek, asked for my phone so he could immediately text, e-mail and update his Facebook status so that everybody would know. I won’t lie; I did the same when he was through.
Derek and Matthew will marry in Massachusetts during Memorial Day weekend in May 2011.
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