When I was about 6 I was in a baton twirling group. (Shut-up, I live in the South and was too young to know any better.) We marched in parades and had weekly competitions in our hot pink leotards or lavender sweat suits. For the most part, it was lots of fun. We always won big trophies and every week one girl got to keep the trophy (I still have mine.) Some people were way too into the baton thing though. I have a vivid memory of being in a parade and having the head baton twirling lady come up to me, grab my arm and say "If you don't get off her ass I am going to crack your head open." Yes, those were her exact words forever burned into my psyche at the tender age of 6. Apparently I was walking and twirling a little too close to the girl ahead of me in line. I was probably too busy watching the crowd to watch where I was going - I always got bored in the parades.
At the Saturday competitions, they had modeling after the baton twirling. A lot of the girls in my group would finish twirling, change into their big fancy dresses, tease their bangs and do the modeling bit. In fact, I had a friend, J, in the group and we were about the only girls who were not in the modeling part. (This is the same friend who met her husband at my wedding, but that's another story.) My parents and J's parents used to sit in the stands and watch the parents of the modeling girls with amazement and disbelief. After one year of twirling, my parents and J's parents refused to let us to participate again. I think they signed us up for soccer instead. I wasn't too upset about quitting twirling, but I never really understood why my parents wanted me to stop.
Then last night, I saw this.
Thanks Mom and Dad - you were so right.