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Journal FortKnox's Journal: When Birthdays Don't Mean Much 17

As all you (I'm sure) don't know, my birthday is approaching. Now, age hasn't mattered since I was 21, but now... the whole concept of a birthday... really doesn't matter anymore to me.

What I've really noticed is that people ask me what I want for my birthday. It used to be pretty obvious. Computer Stuff and video games. Well, my computer hasn't been upgraded in centuries, so there's no point in getting any new games for it, and I don't have time to really play on it, because I spend most of my time with my family. Anything else I want, I've already bought.

Have you guys (and girls) reached a point where birthdays and birthday gifts don't really matter? Or am I just insane, here?
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When Birthdays Don't Mean Much

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  • by JMZero ( 449047 )
    It's sort of sad. I used to have all sorts of things that I desperately wanted. Now I have lots of money and no time away from work.
  • Take my advice: tell them you want a new suit. Either they'll leave you alone, chip in and get you a new suit, or get you several suits. I'm not crazy about suits but it's good to have one or two. If you're like me, you don't realize the old one no longer fits until you need to wear it.

    Another good choice is to ask for giftcards from your favorite bookstore. Try not to let anyone know that you asked everyone for the same gift. Then you can pick up what you like at your leisure-- including gifts for them on their special days.
    • This is a great idea, its handy to have one for graduations, weddings, and other events. A great place to shop for suits, is Ebay. If you know your measurements. You can usually get new suits for a significant discount to retail. I have been noticing that present giving holidays have become more tedius, since most of my relatives ask what I want, and I can't tell them computer stuff, since they don't under stand it. However, I have started asking for clothes, since all of my relatives have much better senses of style than I do, or furniture, and household stuff, because I just graduated, and still have some ratty college stuff. The last birthday that is important is 25, your insurance rates drop, once you turn 25.
  • Now birthdays don't really mean much because I buy stuff for myself when I want it or have time...not on some arbitrary date.

    My wife still makes a big deal out of birthdays (cake etc) which I find amusing...but she also tends to give me my gifts weeks (or months) in advance...funny stuff.
  • Currently I am very poor. I can't afford to buy all of the shiny things I want. I desperately need a newer better computer (Pentium III 450!) and there are lots of DVDs and GameCube games I need. So while my job barely pays for food and stuff Birthday Presents (especially the monetary ones) are very welcome.
    If I had a job that paid like 500$ a week as opposed to say 50$, or if I worked more hours (and didn't have classes) I could afford everything I want and more. Then I guess birthday presents would be much less meaningful. But until I go on co-op...
  • Presents are just arbitrary things you get. The whole point of giving a present is to show that you care about a person, and doing something thoughtful instead makes a big difference. Thoughtful gifts are rare, but they're rather nice when they happen.
  • was when I turned 25. I got the insurance break from All State. About 30 bucks a month was quite nice. Anyhow, other than that, I use my birthday to get all my friends together and have a good time. They seem to think this is an acceptable time to get together. I think anytime is good. But, whatever floats their boat.
  • Now that I'm "grown up" and have a fairly nice-paying job, I don't know what to ask for, either. Anything I *really* want, I buy for myself, or my otherperson buys for me.

    I usually ask for amazon certs. That way, I can decide at some later date what it is that I want.

    It's nice to be appreciated, but a small token means more than any large present. Something I'd forgotten that I wanted, etc.

  • Until I hit 67, who cares? Oh, that's right, I can get cheap coffee with an AARP card at 50:)

    I point people to my Amazon wish list. I throw all sorts of stuff at it. Problem is nobody ever buys from it.

    My wife is the smart one. "Okay, your birthday is coming up. How much do you need to spend for what you want?" Of course, what I want is free, but wedding cake prevents that from being an option (No, I won't explain that joke. If you don't get it, you don't get it.)
  • I looked up at the calander last month and realised that my birthday was 2 days away. It hadn't really meant a whole lot, and all I really wanted was money and clothes.
  • but it's nice to get something from a girlfriend, since the relationships usually go sour right before then. Am I that hard to buy for? Actually, come to think of it, most birthday gifts I get are in the $20-$50 range, depending on who it's from. Immediate family sometimes goes higher, but if something that I want costs less than $100. I'll usually buy it then. So I guess I am hard to buy for. I like to just go out and let all my friends buy me a drink.
  • I'm the same way, since 21 or so the birthdays haven't really mattered much. Occassionaly I look at them as opportunities to get cool stuff I actually "want" rather than "need' (if I'm lucky) :) The sad thing is, this year I honestly had to sit down and think for a little bit on how old I was going to be turning. I guess it just isn't that big of a deal like it used to be. I'm thinking 25 is the point in which most people don't want to think about birthdays-- everything is "down hill from there" right?
  • yeah. either a european vacation or just the time (two weeks).

    Plain and simple. I can buy the shiny stuff I want, but I don't, becuase I know It'll just be an impulse buy and I have enough stuff that I can "work over" (computers, music gear, home improvement) 'cept I frequently don't have the time.

    I truly enjoy my job, part time school is fun, and every other free moment is spent having a great time with my wife. (although due to aformentioned responsibilites I sure did miss BOTH Wilco shows this week and Shellac! And they never tour! I have officially rescinded all rights to ever being 'cool')

    Other than that I find that when I am on the giving end my gifts fall into one of three categories:
    1) Stuff that you already have but thats broken and you stubbornly refuse to accept that it is broken and keep using it. case in point, my parents had this box cheese grater who's handle fell off. And they would hurt their hands and grate their cheese. So that was 'easy'

    2) "experiences" this one encompasses a broad range. It's everything from a basket with bubble bath, candles, and moisturizers (a spa day type thingie, typically goes over well with the double X chromosomers), or a basket with champagne glasses, champagne, brie, and crackers (you know, that sort of thing), all the way up to taking a day trip to some vineyards (Ca, Wash/oregon, Va) and then buying them some nice wine (or not), and (of course) the EU Holiday! Another cute idea is a bottle of wine (or stronger), some silly hats, and a bunch of polaroid cameras w/ film: that way you have evidence! ;) Instead of a box that looks like a turtle (NOTE: turtle gifts always go over well with my mom) you have given them some memories that they can keep in a photo album.
    SPECIAL NOTE: sometimes flowers fits in this category.

    3) Cop-outs these are last minute, "oh shit" type gifts. These are ties for dad, flowers for mom (although, real pretty flowers go over quite well with the double X'rs. Case in point: when we were in Hawaii we sent my grandmother a tropical arrangement- it was BADASS. That was no cop out), gag gifts, and things that you want but that they will never use.

    NOTE: I've always held the belief that you should really only a give a gift that you yourself want. However that criteria can often fall flat. Don't get the new couple who are fans of ultra-modern furniture something in wicker and gingham. We'll^H^H^H^H^HThey'll just throw it out or hide it in the basement.
  • Have you guys (and girls) reached a point where birthdays and birthday gifts don't really matter? Or am I just insane, here?

    The two need not be multually exclusive, so I'll focus on the first question. 8^)

    I have a birthday coming up soon too, and to be honest, I could care less. Birthday's, Christmas, Easter, etc are all occasions that seem to mean less to me as I get older, especially as my family have all moved to different parts of the country. Christmas and Easter used to be great times to get together with my parents, my brothers and sister and all my niece and nephews, but as we each moved further away, it became harder to get together as a group.

    Birthday's also seem to have lost relevance for me, though I am not sure if it is because of the absence of family or I'm just over the whole deal. My father rang earlier this week to ask if I still play chess as he saw a really nice chess set for sale and was going to get it for my birthday. Funny thing is, I have never been a big chess fan! Oh well, he wants to get me something so I'll probably suggest he wait until he comes to visit in December, then we'll go shopping for DVDs or something.

    After about 23|24, I stopped celebarating birthdays. This year will most likely be able to pass without anyone noticing and trying to make a fuss...
  • I don't like gifts anymore, because they really just clutter the house. A lot of times, they are just bad technology, too.

    This Christmas, I hope to only get cards, & no money, & no gifts. I intend to give out home made cards, that have my own art on the front. I like to draw with those Bic 4 color pens. Hopefully, I can draw up something Christmasish.

    That being said, I don't mind socks and other clothes, because I can always use more. After all, my socks wear out, and my wardrobe is quite incomplete. I never really planned for my wardrobe outside of college. I never really noticed how my wardrobe seemed to be geared around "casual", until I took an account of the types of clothing that I had. Then you factor in how out of style my clothing is, and you'll see what I mean.

    For my birthday, I really don't want presents, but I do want some attention. In fact, I don't care whose birthday it is; I just want to have an excuse for a group of us to go out and do something special.

The only perfect science is hind-sight.