Someone named Stan is listed in my phone contacts twice. I have one entry for his cell and office numbers, and a second entry with his Hotmail address.
I have absolutely zero idea who Stan is.
I know these are old entries and not just because I can’t remember him. In fairness, I also cannot remember the last time I sent an email to anyone with a Hotmail address.
I do, however, recall when I would clumsily create multiple listings in my phone’s address book for the same person: one each for cell, home, and work; plus sometimes an additional one for an email address. I often had up to six entries for a single person, which defied logic even at the time. Don’t ask, please. I can’t even begin to explain why I did that.
I’ve fixed most of these abominations in recent years. One of retirement’s greatest gifts is the abundance of time to “noodle” over life’s mundanities, and my phone has received its rightful share of those moments. In spite of the fixes, I still occasionally receive calls from the awkwardly-named “Cousin Diane Cell” or “Paul Home,” which if I’m honest I do still find to be absurdly sentimental.
None of this helps to explain who the hell Stan is, though.
Each time I bought a new phone, they would automatically transfer the contacts to the new one, which I believe in turn might have also duplicated the entries a bit. Before I became an iPhone user, I owned a few different flip phone models, and that transfer process probably wasn’t very pretty. So this probably explain why Bob, a plumber I used back in Fresno, was listed four times until just a few days ago (he’s now deleted. Sorry, Bob).
I’m focusing on all of this right now because I have been spending lots of time cleaning even more of said contacts. The impetus for doing so is courtesy of a persistent and annoying telemarketer, who texts me at all hours trying to get me to buy his CBD products.
iPhone settings supposedly have a work-around for something like this, where one can filter messages from people who are not included in your contacts list. I enabled that feature, but I’m still receiving the guy’s spam messages. So this has prompted me to go through all of my contacts for editing, consolidating, and if need be, deleting. I’m on a mission to root out the trojan horse in my midst.
Stan, we hardly knew ye.
I must say that the whole process I’m undertaking is a bit of an eye-opener, this examining of people who I’m supposed to know. For instance, there are three — count ’em — three different people named Cindy, and only one of them is someone I can actually recall with any certainty: the appropriately-named “Cindy Dentist Receptionist.” How is it possible to have three Cindys in my phone?
Not so ironically, Gorgeous is wondering the same thing at the moment.
Another category probably worth mentioning here are dead people. Have you any still listed in your phone? I’ve so far encountered four, one of whom was a brother-in-law of mine that passed four years ago. I must admit that it was painful to remove his entry, yet it also made no sense to keep it in there. Someone else by now no doubt has been assigned that phone number, and it would be a little weird to call it by mistake. Or conversely, imagine the shock if one of those numbers actually called me again, and I hadn’t removed the entry and name assigned to it?
Amidst all this weeding of unknown people, yet another issue rears its head for your consideration: How do we determine what is an ongoing relationship? Is the mere existence of someone listed among our phone contacts proof that a viable relationship exists? Ignoring those who are included because of a service they offer (i.e., medical, home repair, finance, etc.), and for the sake of my marriage– certainly the now-deleted Cindys — the answer to this question for me remains an unqualified “yes.”
With only some exceptions (I assume they know who they are) do I feel comfortable removing any previous friends, colleagues, neighbors, or classmates. Call me sentimental.
Besides, there’s actually a very practical reason to keep old acquaintances listed: It’s quick and easy to recognize them on the phone screen if per chance they do actually call again someday. I’m certainly not going to remember the number, but I have a fighting chance if I see the name “Neighbor Brian” flashing.
What? You don’t care for the idea of nicknames such as Drummer Phil or Blogger Erica? Admit it: I bet you’ve also created some unique monikers for people. Come on, you six readers of this blog: Fess up below in the comments area.
As of this writing, I still have over 500 contacts on my phone. This includes all those duplicates I mentioned earlier, plus providers of local services in towns and cities where I no longer live. So there remains cleanup work yet to finish.
And in spite of all the people I am removing because I just can’t remember who they are, I admit to still being bothered by not knowing who Stan is. I’m keeping him in there because you just never know; I might hear from him someday. Stan, if you’re out there, give me a buzz.
For the rest of you, do let me know if you require any CBD products. I can apparently hook you up with some.
Until next time…