Do You Remember Your Numbers?


by Suzanne Reisler Litwin

How in the world am I supposed to remember my pin number?  It’s not like I have only one. I have many and on a given day I need to access quite a few numbers.  My memory isn’t as great as it used to be.  Actually, it sucks!  Can I blame this and everything else on menopause?

Within a given day I interact with about 10 or more security numbers and/or passwords. Let’s start with accessing my phone. I need to type in a security number to get it operating.  Those numbers are easy to remember.  Once that’s done, I’m on my way.

Next, I need to fill up my car with gas. Utilizing my credit card requires another 4 security numbers. Today I managed to fill up the car with gas and I remembered the credit card security numbers.  I’m still good. Now, I’m on my way to work.  I parked my car on the street and I have to pay for parking. Either I have to remember my license plate number or the parking spot number.  Today, I have the parking spot number in my head – A832. As I’m walking towards the parking pay machine I’m reciting the number A832 in my head, remember A832, remember A832. Chances are I will have the number remembered by the time I get to the pay machine.

I’m reciting the number in my head as I’m walking…Then…my cell phone rings and it’s an important call. So I’m listening to the needs of this caller and of course, I’ve forgotten my parking spot number. Now, I have to walk back to my car and remember the number again.  I know I can pay for this parking spot using an app on my phone, but for 1 or 2 dollars, it’s not worth it to me.

Back at my car, I see the parking spot number and start reciting it in my head again. A832, A832, A823, A832 or is it A823? Agh!!!  This is so frustrating! I should have used the app!

Finally, I arrive at work. To get into the photocopy/staff room, I need to enter another multi-digit security passcode to open the door.  What is it? Is it A832 or A823?  No, that’s the parking spot number! The parking spot number is now etched into my mind.
I look up the photocopy/staff room security door number in my phone.  Remember, I will need to first enter a security number to access my cell phone.  Those numbers I remembered.  Finally, I got both security numbers and I’m on my way!

Once in the photocopy room, I need my employee username and password to utilize the photocopy machine. I type in my credit card pin number by mistake. Noooooooo! I type in my bank client card pin number. Nooooooo! Is it A832 or A823? Noooooooo! A lot of trial and error to figure out the correct security code and username and I’m photocopying my papers. It’s a good thing I managed to figure out these passcodes within 10 tries or I would’ve been locked out of the photocopy machine! GEEZZZ.
A meeting and class done, I’m back on the street.

Now in the pharmacy, I need my bank client card pin # to access my debit card.  A832? A823? Credit card number?  Work username and password number? Photocopy/Staff room entrance security code? Nope. For this purchase I just tapped it and paid. Finally some relief!!!

Check my cell phone for messages. Here’s another security code to get the messages. I really can’t remember this one. Screw it!  I will get the messages later.
I need to buy a birthday gift for a friend, but I can’t seem to remember the pin number for my credit card right now, so I think I will pass on this also.  I can use my debit card and just tap it, but I want the points for this purchase, so… I will wait.

My brain is seriously overflowing with pin numbers, passwords, client cards, security codes, usernames, and entrance digits.


Ya know, I have a fingerprint which will work well for all of this?  I’m just sayin’.


It’s no wonder I eat chocolate for breakfast!

Finally I’m at peace in front of my computer which needs a password to activate. What is it? What is the new password for my computer? Does it have a minimum of 6 or 8 digits? Does it have to include a capital, a symbol and a number? I seriously can’t remember it at this point of the day.

The professional advice is not to use your birthday, your address, your age, your pet and DO NOT associate it with any other passwords you know.  How’s about the numbers I don’t remember?

I can’t seem to get through the day without forgetting one of my passwords, usernames, security codes or pin numbers!

Online, do I check out as a member (which includes more passwords) or as a guest?  I think I will be a guest, everywhere!  Aren’t all these passcodes supposed to make our lives easier and more accessible? Y’all, think it’s gettin’ really stupid out there.


Suzanne Reisler Litwin is an instructor at Concordia University in The Centre for Continuing Education.  She is a writing instructor at The Cummings Centre. She writes a weekly column in The Suburban Newspaper and at the West Island Blog. Suzanne is a freelance contributor to The Suburban Newspaper, West Island Blog, Wise Women Canada, The Metropolitain, and Women on the Fence. She is the author of the children’s book, The Black Velvet Jacket. Visit to read more of her published articles, books, and poetry.



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