I'm a big advocate for the primacy of cash gifts. There are exceptions, but this should be the general rule.
Well apparently David takes after me. Today is my birthday. I had to leave early this morning for a business trip, but a sleepy-eyed David made sure to give me a card as I was running out the door. The homemade card would have been nice on it's own merit, but when I opened it I smiled as a crisp ten-dollar bill fell into my palm. I guess that's my payback for encouraging him to collect bottles (see here). (As an aside, we sometimes wonder if he has more money than we do. Certainly whenever we are short on cash in the house we know we can always raid his wallet.)
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Two notes on my birthday. First, today is a really crappy day to celebrate a birthday. In general I've never been into birthday celebrations for adults. Really, what is there to celebrate? But now I certainly don't want to celebrate on this date.
Secondly, the past few years I've been feeling older and older. Can I really be aging physically, mentally and psychologically faster than I am chronologically? And more and more frequently something happens that makes me realize how quickly the aging is occurring. There have been some bulwarks to this process that let me live in the past, such as my licenses. They have used the same recycled picture since my early twenties. The picture with the deep eyes, youthful features, darkened skin and full head of hair. The year in the birthday field didn't matter, as it was a just a small blur next that picture. More recently this picture has caused me some trouble, particularly with TSA officials at airports who request identification with a more recent picture. But is was still a good feeling to see that picture every time I had to pull a license out of my wallet for one reason or another.
But now it all changes. Because I waited too long to renew my license this year I had to appear in person at the DMV and the clerk made me take a new picture. Sigh.