Study Guide

The Usual Rules Chapter 7

By Joyce Maynard

Chapter 7

  • Days go by and things start going back to normal, which is disturbing to Wendy, especially when she hears a woman on the street commenting on how normal things are now.
  • She realizes that people are probably carrying around a lot more emotional baggage and distress than she could ever know, though.
  • If Wendy can look normal on the outside and carry on with her usual activities, then surely there are people around her who are suffering through all sorts of terrible catastrophes—there are so many people who lost family members and loved ones on 9/11.
  • Wendy never really knows when the grief is going to hit her, but sometimes it comes out of nowhere and is totally overwhelming. Poor girl.
  • She can't stop the memories of her mother from flooding in, like how they used to watch I Love Lucy and make Ukrainian Easter eggs together.
  • She misses reading together at bedtime, too, and how her mother always did goofy things, like picking up a pair of mannequin legs off the street to take home.
  • Wendy also recalls all the things they did together after leaving her father, and how her mother would always watch other happy families with sadness.
  • She also remembers her mother being with Josh and how happy they were together. And of course, she remembers her mother dancing.
  • Wendy wants to remember everything about her mom but it's also way too painful to think about her.