We moved to Alabama from Minnesota when I was a kid. It would have been less of a culture shock to move to Canada. Among the many things I found different about Alabama, aside from the sometimes incomprehensible accents and inability to call pop of any variety anything but “Coke,” was the more formal way everyone dressed, especially for school and church. Mothers and grandmothers were always in full makeup, perfectly coiffed, with their daughters sporting huge hairbows and the equally huge bangs so popular during the early 90s. The one exception to this rule seemed to be the grocery store, where you’d occasionally bump into those same women, especially the grandmothers, wearing curlers under a brightly covered scarf to pick up a gallon of milk. This was a sight you’d never see up north—whatever primping Midwesterners did happened in the privacy of the home. Not so in the South, where tempers, opinions and, apparently, hairstyling techniques, were never kept hidden. They didn’t seem to mind being caught in what was, to my eyes, something of a state of undress. And they had a point: after all, did we think looking that good was effortless?
All this is a rather long way of saying that, while I came to admire that attitude and their confidence, there is too much of the Midwesterner in me to ever pull it off myself. I’ll never be quite as well-groomed as those stylish Southern ladies, but I’ll never show up at the grocery store in curlers, either. You never know who you might run into—especially in Nashville. Don’t believe me? Check out what Le Peug and I saw at Kroger after picking up some tortillas to make this recipe:
Since there were no crowds gathering in the store, I’m assuming we didn’t miss seeing Loretta herself (who is working a new album!), but I waved just in case she was waiting on the bus.