I went to the bank to get money this morning. I need brand new bills for the red envelopes.
Last year I forgot about this tradition; I stuffed the envelopes with used bills. Not too good, said my friend. (You see, how indirect we are!)
The clerk said the bank won’t start doing this until Jan. 17th. My friend said, go early, they run out sometimes. The clerk said, true, come early; but today was too early.
The envelopes I got from my grandma and my mother always had crisp bills; they even had them in sequential serial numbers. The crispness made the bills more precious than their face value. It was painful to spend one of them then, as if I was breaking some kind of magical chain.
I will be getting off the plane back from the U.S. the day before. But I’ll be at the bank, jet lagged, so that someone will get my envelopes this year with bills new.