When I was a little girl–reading novel after novel, watching movie after movie–I noticed one thing: men got to retreat from the hubbub of family life into their own special rooms, and that their time in this room was sacrosanct. They were not to be disturbed unless it was an emergency. This truth cut across time and class. I saw no difference between the way that Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice retreated to his study
and the way that my father retreated to The Swamp, his garage/man cave/beer fridge/smoking area, the place where he has always gone to get away and think and process and fiddle with things.