You know how long I have lived in the country these days? Well, long enough that the suburbs are encroaching upon me and I’m not liking it. But that does not truly measure the distance I’ve come in my nearly four (!) years at Nogglestead.
Instead, a truer yardstick is the evolution in my thought about the Gretchen Wilson song “Redneck Woman”.
When the song came out, I lived in St. Louis, and Gretchen Wilson is from Pocahantas, Illinois, which is close enough to St. Louis that the St. Louis area–not just the country and western radio stations–claims her as one of her own. So she got a lot of radio play when her first album came out in 2004.
I don’t know why it annoyed me. Maybe it reminded me too much of my semi-youth in the trailer park and down the gravel road in Jefferson County.
At any rate, fast forward nine years and four years’ worth of hearing the coyotes come out at night and go home in the morning, and when I’m bouncing my pickup truck down the rolling farm roads and when my country station of choice in the Springfield area has the song in heavy rotation, and I don’t change the station.
The fresh country air has changed me, maybe.
Also, Gretchen Wilson’s Wikipedia entry (WARNING: looking up Gretchen Wilson on Wikipedia puts you on some government watchlist or another, I suspect), her big break came when she was hired to sing twice nightly in a bar in Springfield, Missouri. Whoa. Man, I hope that comes up at trivia night.