What's that, you ask? That is my avatar on Gaia, and I'm posting it because of those little wings attached to my hat, the Angel Mini Wings, which I have finally acquired, after dreaming of having them for three years.
I joined Gaia early in 2004; in fact, that bag I'm wearing is the Emo Bag, my very first donation item. For those of you who never heard of Gaia, it's a glorified messageboard where you get "gold" that you can use to buy items for your avatar by doing various things, like posting. Also, one of the ways the site earns money for its upkeep is by giving sealed letters with exclusive items to users who donate to the site. New letters are released each month, and the items are revealed on the 15th, although it used to be the 25th. This practice started in June 2003, when only a handful of donators got a halo. Starting the next month, each letter had a choice of two items, and more recently, some letters have three items to choose from. But in September 2003, the items were the Nitemare Mini Wings and the Angel Mini Wings. And they were pretty darn popular.
After being on Gaia for a year, I decided to get a pair for myself, and so I started a quest thread, mainly a place to make my cause known so that if anyone felt generous, they could donate to my cause. Some people did, but I got most of my gold through bumping up my thread, and voting in polls (you could get more gold for that back then than you can now). I hoarded letters each month, and even invested in a Nitemare Scarf (another 2003 donation item), but after almost nine months, my offer was simply pitiful, and inflation was running rampant. So I gave up and simply enjoyed the lump of gold I had raised. I still dreamed of owning the minis someday, but I didn't take any action.
For whatever reason, I got interested in the Gaian Exchange board last month, and I decided to see if I could sell the letters I saved from 2004. So I made a post listing what months I had and how many, and spent a little over an hour trading letters for millions of gold, raising 32 million by the time I was done. With that in hand, I made an offer to a seller, and, with the addition of the Nitemare Scarf, and a more recently acquired Angelic Scarf, she took it, and here I am, three years later, my quest finally over. And I still have 2 million gold in my account. It's so surreal. But I'm so happy, that I don't really care.