Some of you may know that I made a big decision in 12 years ago. I had the option of picking an 804 number or a 757 number when I got off my mom’s Sprint plan and switched to Verizon. I chose 804 because I was living and working in Petersburg, had no intention of ever going back to Hampton Roads and, frankly, hated it. I mean, we had like 1.5 million people and you couldn’t tell because it was spread among the
eight seven cities, we had no unifying sports or cultural thing and I had stars in my eyes after seeing all that Richmond had to offer.
A few months later, when it launched, I set up a Google Voice number to serve as a work number, but I’d been inconsistent with doing that. Another problem was that, although it was a separate number, I didn’t have a way to easily demarcate if I was getting a personal or business call and I sometimes forgot to call people back on the number they dialed.
This month, I finally fixed that.
I now have a separate phone for business purposes that uses my Google Voice number and a reassigned my smartwatch so I don’t necessarily need to keep two phones on me at all times.
But the days of my Google Voice number are numbered.
Once I run out of business cards or decide that my time at my current publication has run its course, I’m going to disentangle a few things I attached to my Google Voice number over the years and switch to the phone number on the new phone. But I’ll need to sort out an additional problem.
At some point, my mom is setting things up so I also inherit her phone number. We’ve had that number ever since the city of Hampton switched from having party lines. My mom once said, “I still remember our first phone number, PA-2 [and the rest].” I looked at a keypad and replied. “It’s the same number. They just turned ‘PA’ into numbers.” It was Grandma’s number. As she was the family matriarch, it was the number. If everyone else and everything else failed you, you dialed that number. I won’t be just down the street in Hampton, but being that default link is the responsibility I’m willing to take on.
I only know of a handful of people who changed their number after those few years after college, so I’d probably have the number ring to my personal phone and over time train people into contacting me with that 757 number. But, if it’s not possible for me to inherit our roughly 60-year-old number, I have a contingency.
My thoughts about Hampton Roads have softened over the years. The passage of time likely washed away all the memories of the things I hated about living there. And it’s also caught up a little with metro areas of comparable size as far as things/stuff to do.
Earlier this month, it was announced that 757, which went from being maligned when we were kicked out of 804 to becoming shorthand for the entire region, is about to be joined by 948. If I ever wanted my personal phone number to once again represent where I’m from instead of where I felt like I finally came into my own, I was running out of time.
So, I now have what’s currently a “secret” 757 number that’s going to rise to prominence while the 804 number I never really used finally goes away. And then, if I inherit The Number, my current cell number will begin to fade away.
I have no desire to ever live there again, but let the record show that I’m now 757 forever.