Office Hours

I am trying an experiment I am calling Doug’s Office Hours.

I have decided I am not seeing enough of my friends, the people I care about. So I’ve decided to try to do something about it.

Every other Thursday evening, I will be holding Doug’s Office Hours. I will choose and publicize a venue. It will be open to anyone who considers themselves my friend — all I ask is that you let me know you’re coming. We will get together and have dinner, drinks, and — most importantly —¬†conversation. Sometimes it will be a restaurant, sometimes it’ll be at my house and I will cook. Sometimes it’ll be at someone else’s home and they (or I) will cook.

But the important part is that we will connect with and support one another as human beings.

I’ve had a few of these now, and am ready to open it up to a wider audience. There is a Google Calendar¬†which I will keep up to date, describing what I have planned. Or if you’d prefer an email, shoot me a note and I will include you in announcements.

There is no expectation for anyone (except me!) to be at every Doug’s Office Hours. If you do want to come every time, great! If you make it once a year, also great! If your schedule and other commitments mean you can never make it but this idea makes you think about those you care about (hopefully including me), well that’s great too.

And for those who aren’t in Boston: if you’re traveling here, keep it in mind. If I’m planning to be in your city I hope we can get together.

This is a big experiment for me — and for those who know me best, you know that it’s well outside my comfort zone to propose something like this. But I’ve been feeling increasingly isolated and I think there’s a lot of potential here, and so it has to be done.

A little bit of background: This idea came to me as a result of Lis being in the hospital — again — this past summer. She received an outpouring of offers of support (all of which she refused). But I, as someone with a reputation of self-sufficiency and even-keeled-ness, heard from very few people and could have used someone to talk to or hang out with.¬† I decided that (a) this is partly my fault for being so aloof, and (b) we are all getting older and are going to need each other more & more as time goes by, and (c) despite this, we see each other much less than we used to due to family commitments, being able to afford travel, etc.

So there it is. We’ll see how this goes.

Your friend,


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