My cell phone is dead, and although I have a land line, it hardly does me any good. Since I know very few numbers by heart, I won't be making many calls until I get it looked at tomorrow.
Tapping a name in your contacts list means never having to memorize a phone number. Even if you tried, it would be hard to do since they are all just a meaningless string of numbers.
It makes me nostalgic for the days when phone numbers began with exchange names that made some sense.
The upper east side of Manhattan, where I lived, was ATwater 9, so we were AT9-8875. (Really 289, but we always used the letters.) After our parents finally gave in to our pestering over getting a "kids'" line, we added AT9-9089. My mother's jewelry store – Lynne's Speciality Shop at 1288 Lexington Ave. but just The Store to us – was AT9-6919.
I can still remember all or part of my high school friends' numbers.
Pam was (and is) Eldorado 5 -3182. Emily's began with ORegon 4 (OR4-6101). Nancy was SPring 7 (SP7-4961) and my old boyfriend was ALgonquin 4 something or other. (OK, I'll admit it, I still know the whole thing: AL4-2588.) The friends who lived in the Gramercy Park area had, of course, GR for Gramercy.
In a piece in The Huffington Post, Erica Jong wrote, "When I first started making phone calls in the fifties, anyone could tell where a friend lived by the telephone exchange office in which actual telephone operators sat – like Lily Tomlin as her iconic comic character, Ernestine.