What do you do when you get someone’s number? Naturally, you save it in your phone. You may even type in the person’s first name and location where you met: “Rachel Bar,” “Evan Tinder,” “Mom Womb.”
Well, you and I, we’re different. When I get a number, I do nothing. I leave the 10 digits to hang out in all their glory. Odd, yes, but not saving numbers has helped me dissociate from many a person sending a text. Is that Kyle? Nope, it’s a 305 area code. Ok, that’s Miami so, hm, must be Pitbull. See? I’ve already lost the butterflies of receiving an iMessage from the guy I’m talking to by the time I’ve deciphered which first three digits belong to which dude.
This is, of course, a practice that minimizes my chances of getting hurt (I’m working on it with my therapist). If I save someone’s number, it means that shit’s real. They now have a place in my contacts, where they take up precious gigabyte real estate — a corner office from which they’d need to be evacuated if anything were to happen. No saved number equals no scrubbing my phone — and memory — of someone. It’s an unnecessary process that puts you through the emotional wringer. You meet someone, learn their number, add them to your contacts, fall in like, break up, feel like you’ve been stabbed with a knife, remember to delete their number, and feel said knife twisting into your gut. I’ll pass, thanks.
Saving a number also adds a level of seriousness to something that I know may only last for a few weeks or months. Besides, what did any guy (or Pitbull, for that matter) do to deserve that space? Send a well-thought-out response to an article I suggested he should read? Thanks, my dude, but it’s gonna take a little more than that. And we all know the ancient proverb: “Once you put something out there as a done deal, the universe finds some way to fuck it up.” In other words, once you make a home in your iPhone for someone you like, it’s done.
Call me closed off, but this has helped me not emotionally latch on to people who I, on some level, knew weren’t right for me from the beginning.
718 area code, you were a manchild even though you had a good 10 years on me.
646, you were so nice but had the personality of a Triscuit.
630, your 1940s Western-spy-mystical board games complete with soundtrack — though endearing — were weird as hell.
914, you didn’t laugh at my jokes, and that’s unforgivable.
516, you thought I was vegan, which I consider a major attack on my character.
The list goes on.
Saying goodbye to these fools was a relatively clean break. No knife twisting, no tears, and no regrets. That’s not to say I don’t think of 646 every time I see a digestive biscuit or of 516 when I spot a celery root. But it’s not a longing; it’s more of a flashback to some guy who I was lukewarm about. I feel like I’ve cheated the system. I’ve figured out a way to be in a textual relationship without falling fast over a perfectly timed GIF. Maybe one day I’ll find someone who’s number I’m inclined to save immediately (maybe), but until then, in my head, I’ll be referring to all suitors by their area codes.