Here's news: I have lately stumbled upon a new, least favorite thing on TV.
It's a reality show about child abuse, called "Dance Moms."
The show features an overbearing dance teacher who is downright cruel, if you want my take, denigrating and in denial about her own bad choices - and the young girls she instructs.
Well, and their mothers.
Dancer wannabes would be my guess, also in denial, who badger and cajole their daughters to work through the sprains, tears, bone issues - and resistance to "practice, practice, practice!"
I've never seen anything like it. This show has surpassed my former least favorite practice of dressing up girls whose permanent teeth haven't yet poked through as little bitty Las Vegas showgirls and parading them in pageants.
It's a good thing I'm not a grandmother of such, or there'd be a lot of rolling around on the carpet with fisticuffs and some fierce language thrown at a daughter-in-law who could even consider putting a youngster with my blood flowing through her veins through anything like this.
Mercifully, no chance of this. Our daughter-in-law is smart and funny and wouldn't consider putting a sweater on a dog, any more than false eyelashes and blue eye shadow on a 6-year-old.
Come on. A girl - every child - should have a bona fide childhood. Somersaults, mud pies, finger-painting and coloring books, playing with dolls, dressing up in Mommy's old clothes, reading books about ponies and princesses.
A menu of activities designed to feed an imagination.
I'm not suggesting that a child who comes into the world with an absolute gift for music or dance or math or science shouldn't be nudged in that direction. But I'm pretty sure passion on his or her part must be the priority - not a parent's.
Learning sexy dance routines and the ins and outs of teasing hair and applying makeup at the age of 6? What parallel universe are we living in, here?
On the other side of the fence? I look forward to your emails - but I don't much care for the condition of your grass.
OK, rant over.
I have a reunion on my mind.
Yesterday, a classmate I went all the way from grade school at Aina Haina Elementary to graduation from Kalani High in Honolulu called to say our 50th high school reunion was coming up next year.
Fifty years since the red cap and gown (with white trim, as required somewhere, in the tassel)?
How can I be a bona fide senior citizen, when just this morning I had a hissy fit worthy of a 13-year-old? Something I'm trying to wean myself from, I'm ashamed to share, because I'm exercising the theory - well, sniffing around it - that all things happen for a reason.
As in angels disguised as people you don't love at the moment.
Most recent example: I'm doing my best to regard the 89-year-old woman who pulled out from a shopping mall's lot into 45-mph traffic, and the lane I was traveling in, going 15 mph - as a blessing in disguise.
That was some white-knuckle action and involved some fierce swallowing of invectives, which kind of hurt on the way down. You have no idea the restraint; it gave me heartburn, mostly from the words worthy of a longshoreman that begged to spew.
"What the . . . !"
"Self," I said, instead, to myself, "possibly this in an angel in disguise."
OK, this is part of my new theory: The driver in front of me slowed me down enough to save me from something horrific further down the road. The running of a red light by one who would've taken me out; a traffic jam that would've stalled me for hours; the . . .
You get the picture.
I haven't a clue or confirmation that this mindset is truth, but I'm factoring in the money saved on Maalox and anti-anxiety prescriptions, and it works for me.
Angels in disguise.
* Lynne Horner is a former Maui News features editor and writer who now lives in Springfield, Ore. Her "Second Thoughts" column appears every Tuesday. Send email to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.