Well, he was sort of wrong about summer camp. While he had to deal with the usual stuff with being dared to do stupid stuff, he'd found a kindred spirit: Martha. It was like one of those movies on television where two cute kids met and walked off into the sunset. Too bad the good feelings didn't last. Nothing lasted. As soon as they got back to the real world, she'd started making him feel like a fool too. He couldn't send her a valentine that wouldn't get him razzed without being treated like a jerk, he couldn't write her a note that he wanted to be kept secret without her reading it to her friends and he could never seem to find the time to be with her without Mom getting in the way. Always, always, always Mom wanted to make sure Mart wasn't in the picture. It was like she was scared of a cute little girl, always talking about 'disasters' when they were just hanging. Weird. You'd think that everything was the end of the world. About the only bright spot was that Mom ended up going to have a third kid. Sure, he'd gotten some strips taken off him but, hey, since Elizabeth would finally know what it was like to be shoved aside and treated like yesterday's news, he could take it. Hmph. He'd remembered one day Mom started jumping up and down yelling about how he'd called the little creep 'Lizardbreath' and sent him to his room for not being 'respectful'. He hadn't but, hey, why not let the crime fit the punishment?
Man. Being punished just for being a kid. It seemed like that was life was all about. He couldn't listen to his music or talk without being 'defiant' or try to figure out where he stood with Martha without making Mom look like she was gonna wet herself. Heck, they'd sent him to Aunt Bev's farm to punish him one year. That was when everything went wrong with Martha. It only made sense that she'd start checking out other guys. One of the few things Dad said that he agreed with is that absence made the heart go wander and Mom backed him up. They had a great two years but the next thing he knew, Martha was going with Jason Finkbeiner because he didn't "take her for granted" and was "sensitive". Typical. Not only did she make him the bad guy, she didn't even let him decide. No wonder he failed his driving test. It was like she was punishing him for wanting the freedom cars represented.
The funny thing is that after that, he had no idea what he saw in her. Looking back, it was funny that he said the same thing about Rhetta. Ah, Rhetta. Yet another person trying to make a big fool out of him. Sure, things had started out great between them. When they were in high school, the possibilities seemed endless. Then they got out into the real world. Weird. She got all upset for no reason because he made a joke about dating someone from outta town. It looked like she'd laughed it off but, well, that wasn't the case. He didn't notice it at the time, though. That's because ol'Farley went off to the kennel in the sky and he wasn't there. From what his folks said, April toppled in that river behind their house, he'd pulled her out and then died. If only he'd paid attention to what Rhetta said about some things having to be said when he told her that he couldn't write about that. He could have made plans to defend himself against what she was about to pull.
That's because she had the nerve to talk about how they should see other people while they were at university. Typical girl. String you along and make a fool of you. It seemed as if like his new friend Weed was right about just taking dames as they came until it happened. Y'see, he was driving home when with Weed when they drove right by the story of the year! Some girl had fallen asleep at the wheel and if he got the byline, that'd make him a name to be talked about in the business instead of some drone collecting data for a puff piece. Sure, the ambulance driver told him to quit hovering like a buzzard so they could save her but, hey, price of fame. Turned out the girl was someone he used to know: Deanna back from fifth grade. Damn. He wished he knew why he kept forgetting that no one is just anyone but next time, he'd rememeber. They got together, started talking about old times and, aside from her having to lose some loser named 'Perry', it was like she'd never been dragged away to Burlington by her parents. Funny. It was like how Mom and Dad said that older friends are better friends. Heck, she even got along with that crusty old bat Mrs Dingle. There was a piece of work, there, man. Sure, he felt bad about all the bad things that happened but it was like Uncle Phil and Grandpa Jim said: people shouldn't use their past as a club to smack people over the head with.
Since she was definitely The One, he couldn't let Deanna get away from him this time so after she got back from Honduras to get the adventure out of her system, they'd gotten engaged. He'd suggested living together first but Dee said that she couldn't and she couldn't elope so they had to have a real ceremony for just them and a second one so Mira could prance around like she was queen of the world and treat Lawrence the same crappy way his idiot step-dad did when he outed himself. Not that really mattered. He was starting to make his way in the world, Liz was getting away from that creepy-looking geek that worked for Gordo and he was married to the best girl on the planet. Life just couldn't get much better.
You will note, of course, that I have started to make him less sympathetic as his thinking grows more confused.