In her mass-email she sent to the attendees, she wrote:
"If you still can make it, please send me an email so I can expect you. As usual, birthday presents are optional but nice. Cash is better."
Since I haven't met her for a full year (and that was her last birthday), I feel like I'm only being invited to her dinner party so I can give her twenty bucks. Especially since we're not close.
Have you ever specifically asked people to bring you cash for your birthday?