Rosemary goes on a date with Gil later that evening. Marian and Kathy fuss over Rosemary before she leaves, teasing Rosemary about her "mystery man." Marian is appalled when Gil does not come to the door to get Rosemary at the start of the date. Jack worries about his mother until she returns home late that night in tears. Jack goes over to Rosemary's bed and comforts her. Later, when Jack asks about the bike, she does not answer him and he does not dare to ask her about the bike again.


Jack's infatuation with Annette goes far beyond a mere boyhood crush. Throughout his adolescence, Jack feels somewhat unloved and ignored, even by his mother. Jack's desperation for love is most apparent when it manifests itself in his imagination. He fantasizes about suffering a near-fatal accident in front of Annette's house, and thinks that if Annette can only see his helplessness, she will take him in, nurture him, and eventually grow to love him, just as he wishes his mother and father would.

It is clear that Rosemary does love her son, but she often puts her own interests before his, as she does in Chapter 2 when she forces Jack to come with her to Judd and Gil's house, even though it is clear that Jack does not want to go. At Judd and Gil's house, Jack is overlooked not only by his mother, but also by Gil, who has promised to serve him lunch but then only gives him a dish of nuts. Throughout the memoir, Jack fears that he hampers his mother simply by existing, and although Rosemary never explicitly tells Jack that he has encumbered her freedom, he cannot help but feel like excess baggage.

The reader gains vital insight into the relationship between Jack and his mother at the close of Chapter 2. When Rosemary returns, crying, from her date with Gil, Jack immediately notices his mother's pain and embraces her, rocking her in his arms like a mother would her infant child. In this situation, and in many others to come, Jack plays the parent to his own mother, and is forced to use more maturity than is normally required of a young adolescent. Clearly, Jack and his mother depend on one another. Jack does attain a certain satisfaction from consoling his mother, admitting that her need for him makes him feel "capable." This feeling of capability makes Jack feel justified and purposeful in his existence.

It should also be noted that, in her state of weakness, Rosemary is submissive to Jack, just as she has been submissive to Gil, Roy, and Jack's father. This seemingly automatic submission to dominating men, rooted in Rosemary's childhood experiences with her abusive father, figures importantly in her later marriage to Dwight.