|Free shoes? You decide.|
I have found this to be a true statement, in life, in general. In fact, I have found it to even be true in cyberspace.
To all my bright-eyed, fresh faced young blogging friends who sport your very own Virtual Cloak of Invincibility (which is a part of being less experienced in life in general): to you, I'd say, that you'd be well-advised to heed my warning.
"Pish posh," you say. "You haven't been to a BIG blogging conference! Do you know how much free swag there is out there to be gathered? Free lunches abound!"
Well...to misquote former President Bill Clinton, it depends on what the meaning of the word, "free", is, doesn't it?
And herein lies my tale.
|Heelys Hipsters: pretty cool, eh?|
The tale of the "free shoes".
The shoes that, perhaps, weren't so "free".
A powerful lure that "blogging" holds for all us eager little lemmings who swarm to make our fortune "while the kids nap", is the promise that we'll make money off our blogs, while we work from inside our own homes. A few super smart, super talented, super dedicated, and/or super lucky ones of us have.
But shmucks like me? Not so much.
Every once in a while, I'll agree to review a product, but only if it's something I can really get behind, and can feel good lending my talents to. So when the rare product like that shows up in my gmail box, I get pretty excited.
Financial times have been skinny around here lately, and my daughter came to me and told me she needed a new pair of shoes. I worried about it momentarily, but then lo and behold, the next day, an offer arrived.
The good folks at Heelys were wondering if we'd like the opportunity to review their new line of shoes. My daughter was reluctant at first to be the guinea pig ("Aren't those for grade school boys who fly around getting in trouble for roller skating where they shouldn't be roller skating?") but the letter assured me that they had added a new line of shoes that were the lightest Heelys yet, and tailored specifically to girls. That sounded intriguing. I pointed out to my daughter that just the day before, she had told me that she needed new shoes, and perhaps, these might be the answer.
We looked at Heelys new product line on line, and my daughter decided that the "Hipster" model was kind of fun looking, unique, cute, and she'd like to give them a "whirl", (which was a happy choice of words for what you'd do with shoes that have detachable wheels built into their soles). So, we put in our request for that style of shoe in her size, and then waited for the UPS guy to show up.
About a week later, my daughter needed to be driven to an evening dance class, and I talked my sweet husband into driving her, since I was working on preparing dinner. I kissed them goodbye there in the kitchen, and they walked out the kitchen door, into the garage that adjoins our kitchen.
I heard the garage door open and the car engine start, and I continued chopping the vegetables I was preparing that evening for dinner. A few moments later, I heard what sounded like a huge sonic boom, and felt the entire house shake. I nearly jumped out of my skin. As I recall, I shrieked.
Then I ran to the garage door, and peered out cautiously to see what on EARTH could have caused my whole house to shake.
Remember that package that we were waiting for from UPS?
Here's the chain of events that happened.
The UPS driver left the box with the Heelys inside, in front of our garage door. As it happened, the box was left directly in line with the tires on the driver's side of our car. The garage door itself was closed, so the UPS driver didn't know PRECISELY where he'd placed them. My husband climbed in the car and then opened the garage door. The box itself was obscured from my husband's line of vision when he glanced in the rear view mirror before he backed out, because it was too close to the car. He backed out, smashing something fairly significant in size, with the rear wheel of the car. He knew he'd backed over something, although he didn't know what. So he threw the car into "Drive" so that he could see what he'd run over.
And jumped hurriedly out of the car to see what it was...
...accidentally leaving the car in "Drive", rather than putting it into "Park", as he jumped out of the vehicle.
After jumping out of the car to see what he'd hit, my husband endured an achingly long split second of a slow-motion "N-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ooo!!!!", as he realized with horror that the car was still moving forward. As quickly as he could, he jumped back into the car and actually DID throw it into "Park".
But not before the big KA-BOOM!
Here's what the shoe box looked like.
|Clearly, the brown cardboard box has seen better days.|
And if you think THAT'S bad, you should see my husband's pride!
And here's another shot, for your viewing pleasure.
|From the look of the shoebox, I was pretty concerned as to what kind of shape the shoes were going to be in.|
Miraculously, the "free shoes" were undamaged.
And you've got to admit, she does look kinda cute in them. They're rather spiffy.
|The girl with the cute, "free", hipster shoes.|
Practicing a hipster expression.
|Giving her "free shoes" a whirl. Well, for her, they were almost free.|
They only cost her a few seconds of sheer terror watching the vehicle she was riding in head for the wall of the house.
|The wheels are removable. For those moments when you really shouldn't be rolling around.|
Should have had those installed on our car, come to think of it.
|Dig it. It's a cool shot.|
Heed my warning, my friends: even if you actually DO manage to get a "free lunch" out of someone?
If they ever offer you "free shoes"?
You might just want to consider taking your feet, clad in their old shoes, and not walking, but RUNNING in the other direction.
Although I am SURE that Heelys NEVER DREAMED this would happen.
This only happens to people like me.
But whatever else you do?
Be sure to have a nice talk with your UPS guy about where you'd like him to leave your packages in the future.
Ok, obviously, I received product to compensate me for writing this post.
But I doubt the wonderful makers of Heelys expected THIS post. I certainly didn't.
All opinions are CLEARLY my own.