Study Guide

The Usual Rules Chapter 31

By Joyce Maynard

Chapter 31

  • Wendy gets a letter from Todd, saying he's in Colorado now and that he actually managed to locate his brother Kevin. They're living together and both of them have jobs.
  • He wants Wendy to know how much he thinks of her and how much it meant for him to get to spend time with her over Christmas.
  • Wendy calls Louie a few days before his birthday and asks him if he's excited for his presents. He tells her that he already knows what he's going to get—and he cannot wait.
  • In the mail, she receives a package from Josh filled with things her mother had bought her for Christmas (she liked to do her shopping early). Instead of opening the box, though, Wendy just slips it under her bed. She's not ready yet.
  • For Wendy's birthday, Garrett takes her to San Francisco so they can go to art museums and get some Chinese food.
  • He tells her that he talked to Josh and they both decided that she should finish the school year in Davis and then evaluate whether to go back to New York or stick around.
  • Wendy suddenly finds that she's furious; she's so mad that Josh and Garrett are making decisions about her life without talking to her first.
  • She tells him that he doesn't get to make the decisions for her, especially when he hasn't been much of a father in the past ten years. Well, up until now, at least.
  • Instead of being mad or defensive, though, Garrett tells her that she's right and that he's messed up a lot over the years. It's totally legit for her to be angry with him.
  • After that blow-up, they're okay and Garrett decides to take her to Yosemite, the other stop on her birthday festivities.
  • They camp in the beautiful park and Garrett tells her that the first time he came here, it was with her mother. Wendy can't imagine it.
  • They go for a long hike, and Wendy freaks out when they find themselves on a narrow ledge that overlooks a canyon. She starts thinking about her mother being stuck in that skyscraper; she understands what it felt like for her.