So once again, this zap appreciation post is waaay overdue and I feel super guilty, but as I said before, I just had jury duty, and am still dealing with strep throat and/or the flu. Yay! So hopefully y'all let me off the hook again. Compounding my guilt even more so is the fact that this is now the THIRD zap in a ROW I've received that was, like, 12/10 on the emotional impact scale. Seriously, what the heck, guys?? Are you TRYING to make me cry??? So OK, who was my generous zapper this time? Drum roll, please!!! ......none other than @MerlinEmrys! Sooo yeah, you probably deduced that from the title alone, but hey, you got to see a gif of a cat doing a drum roll, so, like, you're welcome. Yes, shockingly, it was Merlin. I KNOW RIGHT??? Just let that sink in. Merlin, of all people, going out of his way to do something nice for someone... (Another shocker: I am known to be sarcastic.) Ok, so first up, I need to briefly mention the shipping label itself - specifically, my name on it. Ahem, I would just like to clarify that it's actually Sarah Hunter-NutMeg. As a feminist, I decided to hyphenate once I married into the DPF family. Not that it's necessarily un-feminist to do otherwise, as there are many understandable reasons to change your married name, as long as it's your choice. Thank you. Ignoring Merlin's blatant sexism (OH GOD THE SARCASM IS A DISEASE), I opened the LBE and out fell a pin and a note. I obviously went right for the shinier thing, and even through the layers of bubble wrap, I could see that it was.............................. .................................................... ..................... FOR REAL THO. When, where, how, and most importantly, WHY?!?!?! WHY ME??? I'M A WORM, WORTHLESS WORM!!! To put this in context, there are only 6 people trading this pin on PinPics, most of them inactive users. And on eBay, well... I honestly have no idea how Merlin managed to snag this for me - he better not have used up a valuable trader or spent a bunch of money, otherwise I'm flying all the way to Florida to throw hands. So for the sake of our friendship (and in the spirit of non-violence, which FL could probably use more of, JUST SAYIN'), I'm simply gonna go with "it was Merlin magic!" and be grateful for his super sweet sorcery, as usual. <3 Anyway, the pin was a lot bigger and prettier than I had expected from pics alone!! Holding it up to the last vestiges of Northwest WA sunlight now that fall is upon us, I was surprised how cool the stained glass effect was. And if you know me, you know this is sort of a big deal: THE RED DRESS!!! YAAAASSS!!! I mean, technically you can't actually *see* the dress since that part is stained glass as well, but IT STILL COUNTS DAMMIT. The crown is visible! (Btw, can we talk about the fact that Es wears a dress AND a crown, and has an animal sidekick? OFFICIAL DISNEY PRINCESS STATUS CONFIRMED.) Ok, so after my extremely dignified initial freak-out and the subsequent pin photo shoot (followed by a brief induction ceremony into my Esmeralda collection, very classy as always), I finally got around to reading Merlin's card (oops.) Ummm... what? There is a "more fun" zap on the way? This Esmeralda pin is just some second-fiddle zap to hold me over til the "fun" one is finished? .........? Actually, you know what? You've convinced me. Now that I think about it, this zap *was* pretty un-fun. /: I mean, look how unimpressed Gus was: Lol, jk. He's usually a total love bug/mama's boy, but some days he really lives up to his name and is a super Grumpy Gus. This was just one of those days, I guess. In all seriousness, I'm so thrilled with this pin and I can't believe I actually get to finally mark it off my signature!!!! :O Having said that, though... idk man. Not sure how you're gonna top this one. This mysterious future zap better be pretty damn "fun," or you may have set yourself up for failure. And now everyone who reads this knows about it, so pressure's REALLY on. xD But hey, even if it bombs, there's still THIS zap to top it. Plus everyone already knows you're basically the Headmaster Dumbledore of DPF (or Prom King maybe? Do we do yearbooks? Lol.) So your reputation can take the hit. Lastly, on a very real (maybe too real? lol) note, to Merlin, @AshleyV, and @timeerkat: I just need to thank you all yet again for your recent trio of extremely touching zaps. They honestly made me feel so special and couldn't have come at a better time. In addition to being sick and everything, I've also been experiencing a rough depressive episode and have become very isolated in recent weeks. I'm bipolar, which is something I've pretty much always kept private due to the stigma surrounding mental illness, and the very real hurt this stigma has caused me in the past. But I've been *trying* to gradually open up about it, because now more than ever our country NEEDS to talk about mental health care. That's all I'll really say for now because I still have a lot of anxiety about telling people, but I just need you guys to know how much it's helped to get these super thoughtful, personalized zaps that make me feel like I really do have friends out there. Anyway, hopefully this information doesn't scare any of you off from interacting with me. xP Love you all.