|The generations before us (including friends from Bowdoin, here) set a precedent for light comradery.|
And another reader followed up with:
Here is an answer:
When in college, friends would have regular gatherings. One, for example, had a cabaret style get-together on Thursday evenings; another hosted tea on Friday afternoons. They would open up their dorm rooms to outsiders; some people would stop by regularly while others stumbled upon it more ad hoc.
These events where neither naively earnest nor ironic (or maybe a little of both). They were not contrivances, but obviously preparations had to be made - they did not just happen.
While there was a joy taken in the rituals, pleasure in the food and drink, and even an amusement in the cliches enacted, the best part was the conversation that ranged from trivial to important, and that served to inform, entertain, and often enough cement and even initiate lasting friendships.
The hosts were gracious but at times they did have to intervene to protect guests, to correct moods, even - rarely- to ask some people to leave. Obviously doing this well was impressive to watch.
After college, friends have done variations of this through regular open houses or meetups. Inevitably, just as these events thrived as long as people enjoyed them, they also dissipated when people started taking them for granted. And this is how it should be, and a much more preferable outcome to these gatherings artificially and institutionally codifying.
I hope this blog serves a similar role for guests in this modern era, with a greater opportunity for a larger, more diverse, and more open community. The only pre-requisite is interest.
I know it has served a similar role for me as, for lack of a better word, host.