Some people think that the world is divided into two types of people: number people and word people. Personally, I think that the world is divided into two types of people: those who divide the world into two types of people and those who don't. But that's not important right now.
Anyhoo, back to our number people/word people situation. My problem is this. I may be both.
I wouldn't be a blogger and a writer if I didn't view myself as a word person. At the same time, I do tend to fixate on numbers. Phone numbers. Addresses. Birthdays, anniversaries, license plates, former license plates, former phone numbers, former addresses. Go ahead, ask me where my son lived the semester he spent in Washington, D.C. (8 1/2 years ago-- no problem.)
Seriously, what was my license plate number when I had the Chrysler LeBaron? I've got that covered. Heck, I can tell you the license plate of the car my neighbor drove when we carpooled our kids to preschool a zillion years ago. Why? I have no idea. I mean, I know why I learned her plate number at the time. It occurred to me, like a crazy young mother, that in case of an accident, I should know what make and model of car my child was riding off in, and that knowing the license number was an extra added bit of potentially helpful knowledge. How could it hurt? The problem is, SFS020 hasn't been relevant for twenty-five years, so why won't it go away?
A good ten years ago my step-daughter realized she could aske me the address or phone number of anyone in the family, and I could tell her, without looking it up. She dubbed me Rainman. It's a worry.
I grew up with a phone number that ended in -1789, so I always thought of it as (shall we say) 555-French Revolution. My friend Beth's number ends in the iconic -1984, and she tells people to call "555-George Orwell".
In 1992, when I changed jobs my best friend lamented, "I'll never learn your new phone number!" (She freely admitted to being my polar opposite on this little task.) I assured her that whatever it turned out to be, we'd come up with a gimmick to make it memorable. Fortunately it turned out to be easy. The prefix was just one number away from my home prefix. (So say, 555- became 655-.) And the final four numbers were -6794. I had only to tell her, it's the year we graduated high school, followed by the year our kids will graduate high school. That she could handle.
When I'm reading a book, I am compelled to calculate my percentage of completion when I put it on the nightstand and turn out the light. I like knowing I've read 82% of the book, for example. I know. It doesn't sound healthy.
My husband, the Center of the Universe (CoTU) thinks it is particularly worrisome that I have committed more than one credit card, complete with expiration dates and three-digit security codes, to memory. But it comes in handy when making hotel reservations by phone or online, not to mention shopping online. Is that so wrong?
Not long ago, CoTU and I stopped at Chipotle for a quick lunch. We had a two-for-one coupon, and the youthful cashier piped up "$10.66!" at the register. In unison, CoTU and I answered with a Visa card and "The Battle of Hastings!"
"Huh?" she wittily replied, being of a generation who has apparently not been required to memorize such trivial dates. "Nothing important," I said, letting her off the hook. Why should she feel responsible for the Norman conquest of England? After all, it was a long time ago, and what's Norman ever done for her? Maybe they don't even teach that stuff any more. I couldn't say.
I get to keep my so-called skills sharp by the fact that it seems that one or another of our kids always seems to be moving. In the next three months two of our kids will move again. New addresses, zip codes, and phone numbers to memorize. Life is beautiful.
Now don't you
Wish you knew
Had a -1492?
Get yourself a cupcake-- it's my 100th post!