Monday, February 24, 2014

Who's in Your Contacts List?

A few days ago, I was going through my phone, deleted contacts that are people I rarely or never call and that I didn't think I needed to keep in my phone.  Like the general surgeon that did my breast biopsy last May.  If I need a general surgeon again some day, I'd probably go back to him, but I'm not expecting to be calling him any time soon.  I have his number in my address book if I need it.

And I decided to delete my mother's number and my sister's number.

They have not spoken to me since November of 2013.  I don't expect they will wish to speak to me any time soon.  Or any time distant, for that matter.  Maybe my sister will call me to let me know when my mother passes away or something, but she is not expected to die any time soon, either, as far as I know.

I have their numbers, and their addresses, in my address book, if I need them.  But I don't need them in my phone.

I have considered deleted them from my contacts before, but kept putting it off.  Not because I thought I might want to give them a call one day soon.  Just because, I guess, it's hard to sever those ties.  It's hard to acknowledge that they've been severed.  But now it's done.

And you know what? 

I think I'd like my contacts list in my phone to be full of people I like and respect, people that like and care about me.  I have two contacts in my phone clearly designated as emergency contact people, but really, I like the idea that if I was in a serious car accident on the way to tutoring tomorrow and the paramedics picked up my phone as I was being rushed to the hospital and just pressed "send," my phone would dial someone that cared about me.  Someone that would care that I was critically injured.  Someone that would ask, "What can I do to help?"

Yes, OK, if the paramedics happened to dial my auto mechanic, he probably would not drop whatever he was doing and rush to the hospital to be with me.  But you know what?  I'm scrolling through my contacts right now and this is what I see. 

The number of a good friend, one of my designated emergency contacts. 

Isaac's vet, who, by the way, will provide any necessary emergency medical treatment to Isaac even if I am not available to hand over my credit card at the moment. 

A friend. 

Another friend. 

My primary care physician, who, I bet, would at least make an effort to contact an emergency contact person on my behalf. 

Isaac's trainer, who would come and pick him up if I was critically injured and unable to take care of him. 

A friend. 

A good friend, my other designated emergency contact person. 

Another friend. 

And another friend. 

And another friend. 

My psychiatrist, who, I think, would also make an effort to contact an emergency contact person on my behalf (if anyone actually got in touch with him, that is; his office staff these days is not so hot). 

My dog walker, who would come and feed and walk Isaac if necessary. 

Another friend.

Cayenne's vet, who is a wonderful, caring man and would board both Isaac and Cayenne if necessary while I was in the hospital with critical injuries.

And then there are a few other numbers, my auto mechanic, my pharmacy, my insurance agent, the county welfare office (who I am certain would be of no help in any kind of emergency), etc.

But this is a revelation to me.  I never thought about it until now.  I want my phone to be full of numbers of people that care about me.  People that would care if I was being rushed to the hospital, half dead.  And you know what?  It is.  It mostly is.

How awesome is that?

And I will continue to delete the numbers of people that wouldn't care.  Because those are not people I want in my life.

Now.  Take a look at your phone?  Who's in your contacts list?


  1. Nice post! My contacts list is full of lots of random people from Facebook who I never call or talk to. I'm not thrilled to have them in my phone but I don't want to mess with it because at one time all of my contacts disappeared. I go through it once a year and delete some numbers but just don't care enough to be thorough.

    I hope I'm still in your contacts list! I like to think I'm one of your good friends you can call. But I admit I have such an aversion to talking on the phone to anyone. Even Brian. I don't know why but lately I can be more honest and thoughtful through text and email etc. Why is that? Sad.

    Huge step to delete your mom and sister but I understand why you did. I wish they would call you and apologize and accept you and make things right. Family is complicated. We all need to feel like we matter to others who are geographically and mentally close to us.

    1. You are still in my contacts list. Of course you are.

      I think many people find it easier to be open and honest and especially to talk about difficult things in writing. I find that kind of difficult in text messages because texting seems best for short messages, really short, messages, while I can write emails that look like novels. A lot of people don't seem to like talking on the phone anymore. Maybe we are just getting more accustomed to text and email, I don't know.

      My mom and my sister aren't going to call. I thought for a while that my sister might but it's been over a year now and I don't think she is going to. And I'm certain my mom isn't. Things haven't been "right" in my family for years and I think it's too late for anyone to make things right now. Sometimes we need to let go. It's funny (funny strange, not funny ha ha) how hard that is, even when there's been so much separation and distance and pain for such a long time.