DEAR HARRIETTE: In middle school, I became friends with a girl named Alice. Alice later moved to Japan, and we became email pen pals. Alice and I would email regularly for two years and became even closer than we were when we lived in the same town. We lost touch, and, much to my surprise, a year later she came back to my hometown. When we first saw each other, neither of us made a move to acknowledge the other. Now that some time has passed since that moment, I wonder if it is too late to try to salvage our friendship. The initial awkward moment separated us, and I want to know if there's anything I can say to break the ice. -- Surprise Reunion, Dallas
DEAR SURPRISE REUNION: If you can figure out how to find your long-lost friend, by all means attempt to contact her. Call her and admit that you were so surprised to see her that you were speechless. Tell her how happy you are that she is stateside and that you would love the opportunity to get together and catch up.
You are much more grown-up than when you last were friends, so finding a friendship today will require you to see each other for who you are, acknowledge the closeness you once had, and then spend time together to see if you still share interests. If you want to find out, tell her you think the potential rekindled friendship is worth the effort.