Feeling Numerically Challenged?

Published 3:51 pm Thursday, March 8, 2012

One thing I don't have a problem admitting is that I am numerically challenged. I get paid to write not calculate. Sure, I can balance the checkbook, do our taxes, and count back change. You remember counting back change, don't you?

You handed the sales clerk, rather than an associate, a $10 bill for an item that cost $8.50. She would open the cash drawer and take out some money. As you help out your hand, she'd place two quarters in it and say, “That's nine,” and following with a $1 bill, “And ten.” Impressive, huh? Next, the sales clerk would smile and actually say, “Thank you.”

Yep, I can do that count change thing. One of my first jobs involved a cash drawer and having to balance it out at the end of the day. I usually made it home by midnight.

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What I can't do is quickly add up my score after a bad round of Mexican Train dominoes or remember phone numbers. The dominoes thing probably has something to do with being a sore loser. And, I could blame the phone number difficulty on my SASS, short attention span syndrome. However, I don't think researchers have come up with that one yet. Besides, I'd rather own up to my weaknesses and try to strengthen them. Stoic, aren't I? KNOTT really. I just want to be able to remember my kids' phone numbers again. It would make life a bit easier.

For instance, a couple of weeks ago the hubby and I were shopping and he saw an item that one of our sons was looking for so he asked me for that son's phone number. I responded with a striking blank stare. Then I quizzed, “Isn't it in your phone?”

He returned the blank stare and doubled it with one of those what in the world is wrong with you looks. “You didn't put it in there yet,” he smarted. Okay, so that man-of-mine is kind of on the technology challenged spectrum; but, so am I.

“So WHAT IS his number,” he interrogated.

Finally, I caved and blurted it out. “It's speed dial 2.”

Would you believe that he had the audacity to mumble something about a mother who doesn't even know her own son's phone number?

“But, I've got his home and office phone numbers and his work cell and personal cell numbers on a card I keep in my wallet, which is out in your truck,” I offered.

He shook his head, shrugged his shoulders, shook his head again and walked toward the back of the store.

In the good old days, I knew all the family phone numbers as well as those of close friends and our doctor. However, as someone recently pointed-out, those were the days when there was one phone number per household.

Now, the directories offered via the menu key on my phones, yes that's plural, have a home number, office number, and at least two cell phone numbers for each household.

Of course, the mind is also juggling email addresses, passwords, security codes, account numbers, area codes, serial numbers, driver license and vehicle license plate numbers, and snail mail addresses, which now include not only a five-digit zip code but also a four-digit suffix. And, then there are those two combinations for the lock boxes.

Wow. Is it any wonder why I don't want to count sheep at night? Perhaps I'm not really numerically challenged after all- just overloaded.

So in my best impersonation of Gilda Radner's Saturday Night Live character Emily Litella, I think I'll just sheepishly say, “Never mind.” Reckon there's any chance I've been the good wife and keyed those numbers into the hubby's phone yet? KNOTT MUCH.