Leibe Julia!

So the guy at the Antikhandel supposed by looking at the earrings that they were made somewhere between forty and a hundred billion years ago: precisely when the last dinosaur took his dying breath (or, according to scientists less sentimental than myself, watched in horror as his skin melted from his bones.) They're made out of silver, at least to some extent, and have been owned by no fewer than three ladylike princesses, as well as one particuarly ladylike queen (if you get my drift.)

I took the liberty to also enclose a copy of an illustrated dinosaur book (serving as a consolation birthday present if you decide that earrings are too uninspired and one-year-aniversary.) The book's in German because I bought it in Germany, where the people take a keen interest in both dinosaurs and picturebooks. Remember how you felt when you first discovered illustrated dinosaur books? How the dinosaurs were big and scary and filled with teeth? This book should hopefully evoke the same emotions, if not for the big and scary dinosaurs, then for the big and toothy German words. You can thank me later for this rejuvenating experience, you twenty-year-old!

(I remember when I had just turned twenty... The world seemed bright and big and new! Full of optimistic possibility! What an exciting time in your life. However, as you grow older, you will likely feel your age catching up to you. After a few months had passed since my twentieth birthday, I found I had developed some joint problems and started drinking gin with Will and had even started to go antiquing!)

So I came to realize something last week when I'd gone to a few antique stores to find you something interesting (and mail-able) for your birthday. There are a lot of expensive dressers made in the late twenties. Tall dressers with peeling varnish that were traded in by the original owners' ingrateful grandchildren for rollerskates in the later part of the century, back when rollerskating (for whatever reason) was becoming more popular than properly dovetailed bureaus. My point is, I guess, that there've been a lot of people who've had a lot of things. Things that they've valued at some point in their lives and made into some part of their personal history. And, well, I guess I've assigned a lot of value to you. I guess just by looking at a silly pair of earrings, your grandchildren (named Otis-Clunk and Pangpang-Coupon, named after their grandmother's two favourite children) might not know that they were a birthday present from that guy that you used to know back when you were twenty. And maybe someday they'll take them from your dresser and sell them to get some more money for a pair of rollerskates.

But, truth be told, I'd rather they do that than put _you_ on the shelf of a German antique store because you're prettier than any old pair of earrings and I'd never have the chance to get you back. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm rather fond of you.

Happy birthday and see you soon!