Staying in Touch
- Start a long-distance book club with a friend. Mail each other books you’ve read, with your thoughts, insights, and analyses written in the margins.
- When you send a letter or a card to a friend who’s notoriously bad at responding, try including a blank, stamped postcard, addressed to you. Even the laziest writer will find it easy to scratch out a response and drop the postcard in the mail.
- When all the critics assemble their year-end best-of lists, compile your own top-10 lineups of books to read, movies to see, and music to hear, then trade lists with a group of people whose taste you appreciate.
- Share a lazy Sunday morning. Simulate the experience of hanging out at a café together: Brew a fresh pot of coffee, toast a bagel, and settle in for some good conversation―and caffeine―over the telephone.
- Start a clothing swap with a same-size friend and mail wardrobe pieces that you know you’d both like back and forth.
- Go to the movies “together.” Each person sees the same film in her respective town on the same evening. Chat about it on the telephone afterward.
- Ritualize your visits with good friends so that scheduling problems and procrastination never cause you to miss a meeting. Choose one day a year and plan to get together on that day, every year, no matter where each of you is currently stationed.
- When keeping in touch with a large group of friends, from summer-camp pals to sorority sisters, set up a rotating schedule: Assign each person a month of the year to write a single letter to the rest of the group, photocopy it, and mail it to everyone.