Good Things That Are Paradoxically Sad!
I think it's hilarious that rather than celebrating our ownership of 20 pets, with the maximum of 4 on each account (and ignoring the extra one that could be had by having Premium), we often bemoan our full accounts, and try to figure out which pet(s) we should give away!
For instance, my own 5 accounts used to be brimming with permanent pets, lab rats, and sundry pets that were never dreamies of mine, but which I thought of keeping just because they looked awesome. Unfortunately, having the maximum of 20 pets meant that I wouldn't be able to create and paint new pets in the future, which made me a little uncomfortable. I decided to give away 6 pets, and now I'm looking forward to Polka Dot Cybunnies, Robot Vandagyres, and 8-Bit Draiks being released someday! I had to LOL a bit at my prior predicament. Only on Neopets would someone have 20 of their dream pets, and bemoan the fact!
Inspired by the idea of being saddened by things that ought to be happy, I thought I'd write this article! My usual articles are brimming with cheer and merriment. I thought it might be interesting to write one that was bittersweet instead!
So here's my list of things that should be joyful, but are paradoxically sad instead! I hope you enjoy reading it, because I certainly enjoyed writing it!
Hands down, I think the most bittersweet thing about this site is the urge to collect avatars! I know of one user who has spun the Wheel of Extravagance over 20 times, and at 100k NP per spin, he's spent a veritable fortune! He says that he'll never even use the WoE avatar anyway, since it'll remind him of all the heartache he's suffered. I feel the same way about the avatars gotten by purchasing the Grimoires at the Hidden Tower. I recently spent 900k NP on one of the books, and despite my joy at bumping up my avatar count, I still grimace whenever I remember the cost. As an avid avatar collector, I should totally let go of my grief and be happy that I have the avatar, and yet I can't!
I have to mention a odd occurrence that happened to me recently. During the Faerie Festival in February, Faerie Quest Fortune Cookies were on sale for just 50 NC each. Intrigued by such a great deal, I purchased 2 of them at the same time, for a total cost of 100 NC. However, my NC on hand went down by just 50 NC. I sent a ticket to TNT asking them to adjust my NC on hand, and after looking into the glitch, they told me to keep both Cookies, as well as the spare 50 NC. Thank goodness they answered me so quickly! I was really nervous about using the Cookies, afraid that it would be seen as cheating (since I apparently got one for free). Only on Neopets would someone bemoan the fact that she accidentally got free stuff!
In a previous article, I mentioned that I was jealous of people who have themed accounts. For instance, some people have a Royal-themed account, with a Royal user lookup, a Royal gallery, and 4 Royal-painted pets. I admire these accounts like crazy, which is a little sad! I myself would love to own a Wraith account, but I already own 14 pets and am leaving space on my accounts for new species/color combinations that I hope will happen someday, such as Cherry or Banana Chias. I love my 14 random pets (including a Plushie Kiko, an 8-Bit Cybunny, a Maraquan Shoyru, and a Faerie Pteri) with a fierce and abiding passion, which is sad, because it means I'll never own a themed account!
I think it's interesting that TNT takes such a low-tech approach towards creating Neopia. I've often wondered why the Neopets universe doesn't have trains, subways, planes, cell phones, computers, and other modern accoutrements that are standard in the real world nowadays. I smile at the outdated approach TNT has, but it's a bittersweet smile. It's cool that Neopia is so old-fashioned, but kind of sad as well!
Falling accidentally in love with pets is a huge issue on the site. I was avidly trading pets for months, only to accidentally fall in love with my trading fodder, a Plushie Kiko. I never thought much of her at first, but as time went by, I took note of her cute squishy self, and the fact that she was my 2 favorite colors, pink and turquoise. Eventually I just HAD to keep her as a permie pet, which was paradoxically my downfall! I'd never intended to take on another permie pet, so now I had one less pet space on my accounts. One less pet space meant one less space for a future dream pet. Sigh.
My ultimate goal was to give away 100 painted pets, which I accomplished a few weeks ago. Now I'm zapping pet #102! It was fun to zap pets with my side account's Secret Laboratory Ray and give them away to deserving new owners. I started zapping in 2009, and it's now 2016, which means I've been zapping for over 7 years! Wow! I keep a petpage list (complete with images) of all the pets I've given away, and it's nice to see them on peoples' accounts, instead of floating around in the Pound. I know I should be happy that they've been customized to the nines, but instead, I feel a little sad that some of their owners haven't logged in for years.
And speaking of zapping, I have a lab rat on my main account that I've been zapping for around 9 years. My goal is for him/her to have 2000 hit points someday, but I have to admit, sometimes I've gotten some really spectacular colors from the Ray! When my pet zapped into a Desert Lutari, for instance, I fell in love with its friendly, furry face and beautiful robes. When I zapped it again and it changed species, I was glad to continue zapping for stats, though losing his/her lovely Desert looks was kind of heartbreaking!
I traded my Faerie Aisha for a Faerie Pteri years ago, and I don't regret the decision! However, I did feel a little sad when I looked up the Faerie Aisha's name recently and discovered that it was frozen. You would think I wouldn't care much -- I did trade it away, after all -- but seeing the Faerie Aisha frozen actually rattled me a bit. I was sad for that poor Aisha, even though I still had my gorgeous Pteri.
Many players take hiatuses from the site, but I've noticed that people who have taken one long hiatus refuse to take another! For instance, a few years ago, I took a 6 month hiatus from Neopets because of some real life problems I was having. When I came back, I kicked myself for ever leaving! Now there are 4 retired avatars that are forever missing from my account, and despite my satisfaction at getting my real life affairs in order, I was sad that I'll never be able to get those 4 avatars. Only on Neopets does an avatar seem more important than real life!
I always laugh at my fellow avatar collectors. Only on Neopets is someone willing to spend 100+ hours mastering a game that she hates. And as soon as she gets the avatar score, she closes the game window and vows never to play that game ever again! You would think that we would flaunt our new game avatars with joy and pride, yet a lot of times, we shudder and pledge to never use those avatars because achieving them was such a nightmare!
Most players would agree that the Neoboard filters keep us safe from people who use bad language and have terrible things to say. However, instead of being happy about that, we're actually quite annoyed by the filters sometimes! A lot of words that are sanctioned by TNT (in the form of item names and game names) are actually not allowed to be posted, and the players moan and groan when they can't figure out why exactly certain words aren't allowed. It's great that the filters work, no question, but it's also sad that we sometimes have to adjust our posts 2, 3, or even 4 times, with no idea of what word is being disallowed.
People who are like me, and zap a pet over and over again, accumulate a lot of paint brush clothes. They're always depressed by their brimming closets, rather than being happy. I laughed when I realized I wasn't the only person with 18 Elephante Hats in her closet. You would think that we'd be thrilled by all the free clothes we're getting from the Lab Ray, but we're not! We're desperate to get rid of the clothes, and I hope TNT is working on a way to delete clothes from our closets!
One phenomenon that sometimes happens is the RAOK, which stands for Random Act Of Kindness. For instance, if someone needs just one more item to complete her gallery, oftentimes, a kind Neopian will buy that item and give it to the gallery owner. I've seen this happen dozens of times, and I'm always happy to congratulate the gallery owner! That said, I have to admit that sometimes, these gallery owners abandon their galleries, after entering but never winning the Gallery Spotlight. It's sad when they give up, rather than continuing to update their galleries every month!
There are a lot of Random Events on this site that should be happy, but make us sad instead. For instance, there is one RE where the Emperor of Shenkuu is throwing a festival for his daughters, and you pay 16.67% of your NP on hand to fund the event. What a lovely idea, yet how sad it is to lose the NP! Other RE's involve paying taxes which go towards the beautification of Neopia, yet they're quite costly to your NP on hand. These RE's are bittersweet, but I would never get rid of them! They're just one more aspect of the site that makes Neopets quirky and unique!
I must admit something, and it might cause this article to be rejected by Country Queen, but I just HAVE to confess. I love the spammers on the Neoboards! They're not bad hearted, evil people who like to wreck other peoples' fun. Instead, they often pretend to be newbies, purposefully misspelling words and making everyone LOL uproariously! I love the spammers who come up with hilarious questions such as "My Petpetpet is so ugly, how do I squash it?" and "When will TNT come up with wearable farts?" The thing is, sometimes these harmless and funny spammers get warned and silenced, which I think is sad. I should be happy that their irrelevant posts have disappeared from the Neoboards, but I become morose instead!
You would think that avatar collectors would celebrate every new game avatar that is released by TNT, but paradoxically, we usually despair instead! For instance, I covet the Assignment 53 avatar, but I've made bittersweet peace with the fact that I'll never get it. I don't have the weeks and weeks of free time that it takes to beat the game, so for now, I applaud my fellow avatar collectors for having achieved that avatar!
A few pet owners have told me that owning unconverted pets is for the most part a good thing, but can also be kind of sad, since UC pets have fewer customization options available to them. I felt bad for these owners, since I find customization to be absolutely delightful and am always changing up my own pets' outfits!
One very common good thing that also seems to depress people is the accomplishment of all their goals! For instance, I recently met one player who achieved his 4 dream Darigan pets, reached an avatar count of 300, completed an awesome gallery for the Gallery Spotlight, and created a gorgeous petpage for the Site Spotlight. Now that he's finished all of his goals, he should be happy, yet paradoxically, he's depressed that he has no more goals to strive for! I had to smile at his dampened spirits. As someone who recently achieved all of her own dream pets (well, except for unconverted pets…I really want more of those!), I don't have pet goals anymore. It's kind of wonderful, but also kind of depressing as well!
One deadpan player that I spoke to on the Neoboards said that spending any kind of time on Neopets should be happy, but is actually kind of sad. He admitted that he recently got a rare game avatar, but was shocked by the realization that it took him 4 months to achieve it. Spending time on Neopets is so much fun, but being shocked by the loss of time seems to affect every player!
And finally, I thought I'd end on a positive note! Here's something that should be SAD but turns out to be HAPPY!
I recently encountered a user who is obsessed with getting every set of Kyrii paint brush clothes in existence. To do this, she zaps her Kyrii lab rat over and over again. When it changes species, she simply morphs it back into a Kyrii using a Green Kyrii Morphing Potion, and zaps it again. I thought this was a really creative way of getting clothes! She says that she chose to keep her pet a Kyrii because the Morphing Potion is so cheap. She doesn't bemoan the fact that she's stuck with a Kyrii forever. Something that should have been sad and limited turned out to be happy and limitless, and I was so happy for this player!
Thanks for reading this article, my fellow players! In future articles, I plan to return to my usual jocular and lighthearted self. I couldn't help writing this article just because it contains so many quirks and idiosyncrasies that are peculiar to the players on this site. Only on Neopets would people get depressed by having achieved their goals!
I hope you have a brilliant and excellent week, dear readers! Stay tuned for future articles from yours truly, and may all of your Neopets endeavors be fruitful and joyful!