What's That Number?

I have lost the ability to remember telephone numbers. I suspect I am not alone in this.

I knew lots of  phone numbers as a child. I knew my number, my mom's work, my aunt's, grandparents, best friend, local radio station... No problem. But with the advent of phones that allow you to program in every number you may ever conceivable need, my retention ability has gone the way of the dodo.

Blair and I were in town this weekend and I wanted to call my mom. "Oh, shoot, I forgot my cell phone," I said.

"I've got mine," he said, handing it to me.

I stared at it and realized I didn't have the slightest clue what my mom's number was. Couldn't even guess at the area code. If I can't hit the star button and then say, "Mom," there's apparently no reaching her.

As of today, I know 4 telephone numbers. My home phone, my cell, Blair's work (only b/c I make myself dial it in case I'm ever out without my cell phone and need to reach him) and my cousin Amy's number from when we were kids. That's it.

My friend Trisha has the freakish ability to remember almost any phone number she's ever dialed. She could prank call a random anyone from the phone book and be asked their number two years later and be able to recite it back. Not the most entertaining of party tricks but hey, it's more than I've got going for me.

Do you think cell phones are making us dumber? Aren't we losing some sort of mental conditioning that comes from having to remember a multitude of seven and ten digit numbers? I'm not sure our society can afford much more dumbing down.

I'd call someone to complain, except I don't have their number.