I have known my Aunt Fern’s phone number since I was a girl. My mom used to call her sister regularly and I remember clearly how she would dial ‘0’ to contact the operator. Then she would say, “I’d like to make a long-distance call to area code 403, 299…” and then relay the rest of the number.
I can still see my mom standing in her house dress by the old-fashioned rotary-dial telephone, which was firmly attached to the wall between the kitchen and the living room.
I have never in my adult life had to think twice about Aunt Fern’s number. I just always knew it. I could pick up the phone anytime, anywhere, and get in touch with her if I had to.
I wanted to phone Aunt Fern and the number just would NOT come to me. And it wasn’t like a “brain fart” moment where you forget for a second and then you remember. It was gone. With some concentration I could remember 299, but I never did get the last four digits. I finally had to look it up.
I probably shouldn’t let this bother me as much as it does, but I think I’ll start keeping a record all the same.