Address Book

Once upon a time I had a physical address book.

When someone moved I drew a line through their old address and phone & wrote in the new one. It was a physical history of my friends migrations and permutations. Some names changed, some changed back, some fell away so that last known address would be highly unlikely to connect with the intended recipient.

Now all of my contacts are in my phone which is so smart it occasionally adds extra, unnecessary fields for phone numbers. I think its mad that I sync with multiple computers so it throws a hissy every now and then. The other really useful thing about the electronic contacts is that it allows me to put names with phone numbers so no one can sneak up on me twice when I don’t recognize their phone number.

A down side of the electronic contacts is that searches can bring up names of friends and family who have died if you haven’t deleted them. I don’t delete them.

I’ve kept my moms phone number, among others, even though I’d never forget the only phone number my parents ever had. When they bought the house in the early 60’s they got one of the new phone numbers using the seven numbers, which replaced the MELrose-1 that the rest of the street still had. The neighborhood pizza parlor never updated the Mel-1 of their original sign. Last time I saw it was the early 90’s because its near my moms church. I wonder if its still there. 

I’m not sure when I should delete the contact info from my phone when people die. I think part of the problem is that I have to literally press a button that says Delete Contact, and then it asks me “Are you sure? This cannot be undone.”

I know it can’t be undone. That’s why I’m afraid to lose this random little reminder.

This isn’t my address book, its my birthday book. A different way of remembering people.