The Fun Activity That’s Keeping My Friends Connected Until We Can Be Together (in Person) Again
I live alone, but when the lockdown abruptly began last March, I suddenly felt really alone. As I sat isolated at home on an endless loop of sanitizing, streaming, and stress-eating, I knew my friends were feeling the same way in their own little corners of the world. But while the pandemic took away our ability to socialize in person, it gave us something, too. Instead of being out on Friday or Saturday nights mixing and mingling, we were all home, which meant that thanks to FaceTime, Zoom, and the like, we had more time to hang out together than we had in years.
So in April, I went on Amazon and ordered two identical puzzles: one to be delivered to me, and one for a friend who lives 1,600 miles away. If you took a snapshot of the two of us at any point in time, whether we were having playdates as kids or spending long holiday weekends together as adults, there’s a good chance we’d be doing a jigsaw puzzle. Fast forward to 2020, and my idea was that we could FaceTime and assemble them at the same time as if we were actually in the same room. It didn’t take long for two more friends to join in the virtual fun, so now we are a puzzle-ing foursome scattered in different states and territories. When we find one we agree on, we each order our own and set up our next date. I don’t even want to think of how much longer 2020 would have seemed without them!
If you’re like my friends and me—aka in need of comfort and connection more than ever as we start the new year—the solution might be as simple as a jigsaw puzzle. Take a look at some of our favorites below, (virtually) round up your own squad, and get ready for some much-needed fun and friendship.