Taking the time to enjoy friendships so meaningful, dear


November 08, 1992|By Niki Scott

One of the difficulties every working woman faces is finding the time for friendships with other women -- friendships which, as a friend put it, "are the best thing about being a woman -- so intimate and sustaining, they almost make up for menstrual cramps!"

Here are 11 quick ways to stay in touch with the friends in your life who mean so much to you:

*Leave messages on home answering machines. "I don't have time to talk, but I've been thinking about you." "Have I told you lately how much you mean to me?" "All's well here, how are things there?" "I know how busy we both are, but I miss you."

*Buy several boxes of note cards that will give you just enough space to -- off a few sentences to friends you miss without writing long letters or spending hours on the telephone.

*Send flowers. A small bouquet from your local florist can cost as little as $12, takes just a few minutes to order and is guaranteed to brighten a friend's day. Florists will write any message you want on the card.

*If you can't find time to talk on the telephone, plan calls for when you're doing chores that don't require your full attention -- cooking, washing dishes, dusting, etc.

*Set one evening aside each month just for seeing friends. Meet for dinner with a different friend every month, or the same friend every month, but do it. Make this date as high a priority as you would a date with your spouse, boyfriend or most important client.

*Buy generic birthday, anniversary, sympathy, get-well and "thinking about you" cards, then spend one evening noting important dates on your calendar or computer. When the time comes, you can personalize each card with a quick note.

*Go in with a friend on a theater or concert subscription. This will ensure that you'll see her at least a couple of times a year.

*Send postcards to friends when you're out of town for business or pleasure. You don't have to go to a famous tourist trap to find these; most hotel lobbies, card shops and pharmacies carry them.

*Get together with friends who have children for activities that your children will enjoy, such as trips to zoos, amusement parks, nature museums, or picnics in the park. If you drive in separate cars, you'll have "alone" time with your children on the way, and once you're there, you and your friend(s) can talk while the children enjoy each other's company.

*Keep a supply of small gifts (wrapped by the store) on hand that are suitable for hostess, birthday, anniversary or "get well" presents.

Shopping carefully for timely, individual gifts may be more thoughtful, but if you're as busy as most of us are, chances are you'll never get around to it.

*Finally, pay your children (or a neighbor's) to address Christmas card envelopes -- and do send cards this Christmas, even if you have the time to send them to only your closest friends.

After years of foregoing this tradition -- and advising others to do the same -- I've changed my mind. A three-sentence note from a friend on a Christmas card has made my whole day (week, month) so often, it must be worth the time and energy to pass this warm, happy feeling along!

) Universal Press Syndicate

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