Everything needs updating eventually: kitchen cabinets, paint jobs, weird, bizarre directions your eyebrows start to grow.
And your address book. Reading your address book is a trip through the stages of your life. The memories aroused when you read names of past contacts awaken all kinds of feelings. Coming across a name, address and number brings back memories. An address book is a grand party of memories linked together in alphabetical order. One friend whose name I found caused me to think,
“I remember the times we’d speak while we watched the children play. We opened our hearts to each other and spoke in uncensored ways that revealed our innocence and trust way back then. Life has taught us not to be so free with our secrets. Life has frightened us to trust. That freedom will never happen again. Now thoughts and feelings are shared with groups, such as the reading group, where discussions of authors’ work bring us to express our own. We reveal our emotions through the writings of others.
Rewriting the address book requires tests of loyalty, persistence and a little bit of pragmatic sadism. Have you changed your address book since phone numbers consisted of names and numbers, as in Butterfield 8-2000? Since party lines disappeared? Since telephones were connected to wall outlets?
- “I haven’t heard from her in ages. Why should I put her number in the new book?”
- ”We haven’t been in touch since the school fund raiser, and our children graduated back in the 90‘s.”
- “He retired and left a zillion years ago. His new number isn’t even in this area code.”
Divorces wreck address books. They do one of two things to your book: remove one contact, or add one more. Retirement changes addresses, towns and states, making your list obsolete. Death is a permanent status, and keeping the departed’s contact information can be misleading.
Does your new address book offer spaces for land line phones and cell phones? Home numbers and work numbers? Fax numbers? Email addresses?
This is all too complicated. I’ll just order some additional blank pages and keep everyone where they should be and always were, if only in my memory.