Study Guide

The Usual Rules Chapter 18

By Joyce Maynard

Chapter 18

  • Garrett asks Wendy why she doesn't have any homework, but she tells him that she goes to study hall at school. Smooth move.
  • The school hasn't come after her yet because she wrote them a letter from Garrett stating that she would be going back to New York. Smart girl, right?
  • They make plans for when Garrett's mom comes to town: They're going to drive into San Francisco and meet her at the Fairmont Hotel.
  • Wendy asks what she's like, and Garrett says his mother always makes him feel like he's disappointed her. He just can't seem to measure up.
  • When Wendy goes to visit Violet, she can hear Walter Charles crying from a long way off. Violet is sitting there looking harried and overwhelmed; she is totally exhausted and frustrated by new motherhood.
  • The girls go to Macy's and try on lots of clothes for fun even though they don't have any money. That's when Wendy realizes she's gotten a lot skinnier from eating less.
  • When she talks to Josh on the phone, he tells her that Louie has started hitting people at school and he's worried about him. Louie also doesn't want to go to see his friends anymore and keeps asking when Wendy is coming home.
  • He tells her that they're just going to stay at home on Thanksgiving and watch Sesame Street together, and that they'll eat TV dinners—even though before, Josh always said that he'd lose his mind before buying TV dinners. The whole convo is pretty sad.