This post is sponsored by Zappos in support of its “Friends with Benefits” Road Show coming to Nashville on March 24-26 (and free for all to attend!).
Just last week as I was packing to go on a 10-day girls’ trip with my best friend through a turbulent climate, I said to SVV: “I’ve got no shoes to wear.”
“Are you kidding me?” he remarked, louder than his usual indoor voice. “You have two [of the four] closets in this house and they’re completely filled with shoes.”
He’s not wrong, y’all.
But why does it seem that, as a girl, I never have the right shoes for the right occasion? I was attending an outdoor wedding, in the rain, and the day started at 65 degrees and ended at 38. No problem—I quickly hopped on Zappos and had these guys overnighted to me, which turned out to be perfect durable, yet cute sandals to hide beneath my ankle-grazing chiffon. Problem solved.
When it comes to shoes, I’m all over the board in the kind of footwear I own. I’ve never been a stilettos kind of girl; I’m more practical than that. But I own—and need—a little of everything, herein lies the problem. I work from home (flip-flops), I work out a lot (the Asics Gel Nimbus series has been my go-to for a decade), I run errands frequently (flats), I travel often and thus need cute but comfortable, versatile sandals (Sam Edelman, I’m looking at you). Plus, I’m often upside down, so need something that, well, stays on.
On the flip side, I also go to a LOT of weddings where something fancier is called for. And it happens frequently that I’m days away from leaving for a trip and realize that I don’t have the proper footwear for the occasion. Thank God, I start the packing process days (sometimes, weeks) out. I do 90 percent of my shopping online these days, and I’ve come to use Zappos as a resource for anytime this situation occurs (read: often). In fact, when I realized no one got me the snow boots on my Christmas list and we were just four days from flying to Washington for single-digit weather, I hopped on Zappos.com and bought the boots I’d been lusting after for a year (and OK, a new pair of Gel Nimbus, because guys, it was Christmas).
And though it was a holiday, they still arrived two days later. And shipping was FREE, too!
Guys have it so easy. SVV pretty much wears Chucks all day, every day, in whatever color he’s feeling when he wakes up—which, as you can tell, is often an amalgamation of bright, eye-popping hues.
So when Zappos reached out and invited us to their Friends with Benefits Road Show on March 24, I was thrilled. I’ve long loved the site for its wide selection and the speed in which they get their product out. Plus, the free returns policy is clutch, particularly when you’ve got a Converse-loving husband who refuses to buy any grown-up shoes of his own, so instead, you buy three sizes in each style you like so he can try them on and send back what he doesn’t care for (or doesn’t fit).
The tour is Zappos’ way of saying thanks, giving back and making new friends all over the country. But what I didn’t know was that they aligned more with my values than I initially thought.
Meet Maggie. Maggie, a five-year-old golden doodle, came to live with us exactly a year ago this week. It was just a month after my dad’s stroke, and the last thing our family needed was another (e.g. sixth) dog during a time when we were stuck in a rehab center with him for five weeks. But Maggie needed a home as her human parents were divorcing, my sister and I are persuasive, and my mom is a softie. There was no way we’d let her go to a shelter! So Maggie came to live with us and quickly knew her place: as my mom’s protector and my dad’s instant companion, his therapy animal if you will (in fact, she even visited him at the hospital).
The rest of the squad immediately embraced her, too. None of us can remember life without Maggie being in it.
As a family, we’ve had dogs since I was born. First, there was Sweets, a mutt mix my parents adopted back in California, and Winston and Tanner, the spaniel breeds who greeted me out of the womb. Next up, I got Madelyn when I was three and another pair of golden retrievers, Katie and Kirby, when I was eight. Kelsey came along when I was nine, and in those 25 years, we’ve had another 20 or so Malteses.
On the side, SVV and I have also fostered; our charitable donations each month go to a handful of different animal rescues in Tennessee. On a personal level, we rescued Cricket the Corgi and Minko the Miniature Greyhound after their elderly owner passed away; Sam the Schnauzer showed up on our doorstep when we lived in Silicon Valley and became a tenant for several weeks; and Sophie the Spaniel just last year in Tennessee. In a dream world, we would live on a farm and give all the stray animals a home—a sort of rescue refuge (with a brewery, pie shop and distillery on site, of course).
Zappos loves dogs, too, and I love Zappos even more for that. The company has used its platform and its Zappos Rewards program to cover the fees for more than 18,000 adopted animals. How awesome is that? And you could be the next new pet owner, too, if you join us on March 24 (or 25 or 26) and take advantage of the free adoption option. Don’t worry, I volunteer for pet-setting duties!
Maggie may not be in attendance—her social schedule is packed like you wouldn’t believe—but she still hopes you’ll come see SVV and me at the Zappos Friends with Benefits Road Show from March 24 to 26. (We’re not as cute, but we’re still a whole lot of fun!)
You’ll be able to shop, of course, the “backyard” area will feature local food, local bands and free pet adoptions. Yes, you guys: FREE pet adoptions. In other words, you could arrive a singleton and leave a pair! I’ll even help you pick out both an outfit and your new fur friend if you like.
While in Nashville, Zappos’ Road Show will be headquartered at 115 Lyle Avenue from March 24 to 26. The schedule is as follows:
I really hope you’ll join us, and if you don’t see me right away, just look for the puppies; I guarantee you that’s where I’ll be, happily covered with slobbery kisses.