09/17/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Buried Treasure -- Finding Long Lost Friends

In the midst of an archaeological dig amongst the piles on my messy desk this morning, I found a not-yet-used 2008 calendar from Papyrus. When I glanced at the celebrations of the year, I discovered that today is Long Lost Friend Day.

I don't know who started it -- Hallmark or Papyrus, I suspect. But it's really a nice reminder of the warm fuzzies you feel when you reconnect with someone from your past. In the old days before the internet, if you lost touch with a person you had to hire a private investigator but now there are so many electronic tools that make it easy to find people from your past. Admittedly, if your female friend has changed her surname, it makes the search a bit more challenging.

Want to find a long lost friend? Here are some ways to begin looking:

Try finding the person using Google by putting her first name and last name in quotes. See what comes up. If you know the city and/or state where she lives or last lived, you can refine the search by putting that after her name in quotes

Check out groups from your high school or college on social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace.

Search for former classmates on sites like or -- or email or phone the alumni office of your school

Let your fingers do the walking -- use the white pages directory on

No luck finding her in a directory? Are her parents or other relatives findable? Chances are they may still live in the same town she did. Try finding their phone numbers or email addresses.

If you don't know any relatives, you could try the friend-of-a-friend route. Do you know someone who knew her that you are still in touch with and who may be easier to find?

Any clue to the kind of work she is doing? Perhaps, you can find her through LinkedIn, a professional association, or the human resources office of her former place of employment.

Even better than digging: If you develop a blog or personal website, your old friends may come out of the woodwork looking for you. I was so delighted to hear from some of my childhood friends who serendipitously found me.

Have any of you successfully reconnected with retro friends? Please post your stories -- and I hope you will reach out and touch somebody whose friendship has been meaningful to you. Oh, Happy Long Lost Friend Day! (Any and all suggestions for de-cluttering my desk are welcome too.)

Irene S. Levine, PhD is a freelance journalist and author who blogs about female friendships at HuffPost and She is a professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine and is working on a book about female friendships, Best Friends Forever, which will be published by Overlook Press.