I was driving back to Houston after visiting a friend in Dallas during a September heatwave.

On the way, I found myself in a Shell station bathroom somewhere in Corsicana with two white-haired ladies, obviously old friends from their lively stall-to-stall chatter. The thick Texas accents had me grinning already, and as we waited our respective turns for the sink, I was roped into the conversation.

"Oh, I love your boots," one of the women suddenly announced, gesturing to the pair on my feet. "Aren't those darling?"

"Well hold on now, I want to see them," her companion piped up, emerging from her stall a few moments later. "Oh they are," she immediately agreed, ooh-ing and ahh-ing her appreciation.

I gushed my thanks, spinning upon request so they could see the whole shoe and joking that I loved them because their strappy exterior allowed me to wear them in "fall" even though it was still positively roasting.

They laughed and groaned, uttering their own round of complaints about the weather and shaking their heads; but as they headed for the door, one of them paused, looked me dead in the eye, and pointed one well-manicured index finger.

"I tell you what, though, honey," she said, serious as a heart attack. "I'd rather be hot than a yankee."