My Brain: A Complex Lost and Found Department

3 08 2009

numbers

Last night was one of those restless nights. I found myself wide awake with hours to go before sunrise. A quick glance at the clock told me that it was only 3:12. Suddenly, instead of lying there being annoyed that I couldn’t get back to sleep, I was thinking about short term versus long term memory.

1029, 28205, 537-3528. Those were my house number, zip code, and phone number when I was growing up. They’re pretty easy. I never moved till I left for college so they are permanently etched in my brain. But I also remember unmistakably that my homeroom number in tenth grade was 114, my bus number in sixth grade was 485, a half pint carton of milk in second grade cost four cents, and the dormitory room number of the soccer player that my freshman roommate had a crush on was 312. (Hence, the reason I was thinking about this at 3:12 in the morning.)

Mind you, I have to keep my husband’s and sons’ phone numbers posted by the phone as I can never recall them. Last weekend, when the bank employee asked me on the phone for my zip code (to confirm my identity), I told her the wrong thing. I’ve been known to draw a total blank when the Verizon lady asks for my password.  But if you want to know what dormitory hall dues were in 1977, I’m your gal. (Five dollars. Actually that’s easy, because everything was five dollars back then. Today everything is $20. $20 is the new $5.)

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