So there I was, happily reading a true crime essay in the New Yorker by George Pelecanos. The entire piece, except for the last two paragraphs, is about his youthful dabbling in crimes and misdemeanors. There was nothing all that great about the essay, but I kept reading. Then I got to the end:
“I got married that fall. Four years after that, I wrote my first novel, and two years later my wife and I had our first child.
“I grew up.”
I look to the New Yorker for thoughtful literature. This just seemed like mindless ideology.
We have some idea about what getting married means for men, and prevailing matrimaniacal claims to the contrary, the results are not always pretty. (See, for example, “Does marriage civilize men?” and “Naughty or nice? Single men and married men.”)
That’s not to say that some individual men (and women) do not benefit from marrying. But theirs is hardly the sole story to be told, or even the typical one.