Friday, January 20, 2012

The Numbers Game

I have far too many numbers in my life.  And, although I completed every math class my high school offered--including analytic geometry, trigonometry, and calculus (1 & 2)--I am essentially a mathematics nerd.  I have difficulty balancing my checkbook and I frequently forget my home address and my cell phone number.  When people ask me how old I am, I often bumble the answer and scream out, "Forty-five!"

Increasingly, it seems, I am being asked to remember far too many numbers to be a writer.  Recently I submitted a piece to an editor who promptly shot the piece back to me along with a curt note that read, "It's only been two weeks since your last submission and our policy is you must wait sixty days to submit again!"

Sixty days?  What are we . . . living in Biblical times?  I could probably remember forty days and forty nights, but sixty?

Now it's commonplace.  I've got other numbers to remember like:

A day next month when an editor asked me to contact her about an essay she is interested in discussing.
A publication date for a magazine piece I wrote about beavers.
The phone number for my agent.
The phone number for a local Chinese restaurant (I sometimes eat and write there).
Pass codes for online submission guidelines and the days I can submit.

You see what I mean?  I wish I had one number that would fit all . . . kind of like a gigantic pair of sweat pants.  I could just plug in the same number and get to where I'm going.

And no one would ask me my phone number or my age.  I'm tired of being forty-five, and I'm really sorry for giving out the number to that Chinese restaurant to so many editors.

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