Living

The proper way to compliment a country girl

Every gal can use a compliment now and then to raise her spirits, to give her that “just got a haircut and, oh, I feel so much better,” feeling that automatically results in squared shoulders, a lighter step, and a lifted chin.

Ooo, baby, I was on the receiving end of not just one, but three- all in the same week!

The only sobering note is that while they were all given to me by younger, rather fetching men, they were all the exact same compliment.

“Hey Pam,” greeted the first at the Hayrack, as I backed my truck up to be loaded with six bales of an orchard grass and timothy mixed hay, “Did you get new tires? Man, them are nice!”

Forget the fact that I was indeed sporting a sort of spiffy new haircut and still had on the remnants of mascara and lipstick from having returned from a speaking engagement in Hendersonville. It was the tires (aka ‘tars’) that were rocking his world. Yet, I love my old Dodge and am eternally grateful that it starts up each time I turn the key, despite being outclassed by the other, blingy, trucks parked out in front of the feed store. So when I realized that it was the object of appreciation, my heart rather warmed like a mother whose infant is being admired.

“Do you really think so?” I said, coyly.

“Heck, yeah! They must’ve cost a bundle.”

“Not really,” I replied. I got them at Dill’s and told them I wanted to keep it under $150.00 each. I think these were $130?”

“Man, you got a deal,” he murmured, slamming the tailgate shut and stepping back to take another long, lingering, look. “Wonder how these would look on my Jeep?”

I shrugged. “You never know until you try.”

The second time it happened came from a complete stranger as I was stepping into the truck after grabbing a couple of things at the grocery store. With a shrewd, appraising eye, this bearded Trump supporter (because of the Chinese-made ‘Make America Great Again’ cap) announced, “Somebody got herself some nice, new tires.”

“Why, yes, I did,” I smiled, fighting the urge to bat my nonexistent eyelashes.

“Purty.”

“Thank you.”

And the third was quite similar although he preferred Cooper’s.

And then the oddest thing happened. I DID feel better- I began to walk with more of an air of confidence, bordering, I dare say, on a strut. In my frayed Carharts and muck boots, I was, by association with my truck, an object of admiration, of perhaps even envy. It doesn’t matter that I’m old enough to be the first guy’s mom, I’m on the verge of being a hot mess.

Which is particularly accurate during a hot flash.

Reach PAM STONE at pammstone@gmail.com.

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