As a writer, reader, and person living in this world, I am forever spinning fairy tales. My current one involves two beautiful sisters who marry mailmen with matching beards. The third sister, whose heart is angry and mean, marries Blue Skullhead, and through his patient love for her, learns compassion.
Now life and the game, I’ve discovered, often intend very different outcomes than our fairy tales promise.
And perhaps it’s just as well. Every reader of Anne Sexton’s “Cinderella” knows that the happily-ever-after couple inevitably winds up “like two dolls in a museum case.”
We will have to see what story Aspen and her sisters spin for us.
Aspen spun the whim to ask Niko to be her boyfriend.
She was so excited. And so nervous.
Of course he said yes!
Our other mailman, Lamont, has been coming over every day, too. Aspen is constantly rolling whims to chat, be mischievous, and be funny with him. I guess she really likes him–for a friend.
I’ve been hoping Madrona might roll some Lamont-related wishes. I’ve got a bit of a crush on him–there’s something about squint-eye, especially on a former mailman, that really gets to me. Plus, he possesses traits welcome in any legacy: family-oriented, romantic, and good.
My heart fluttered when Madrona autonomously held his hands during a heart-to-heart in the kitchen.
Then, Lamont moved towards her for an embrace.
She balked. Too fast, too soon!
Lamont, without missing a beat, eased the tension with a scare…
…and, being the mischief-maker she is, Madrona found him hilarious.
Madrona and Lamont spent most of the weekend playing chess. I spent most of their weekend watching them. Lamont really looked at her with interest.
And when she continuously won the chess games, he remained an interested good sport. He was very flirty very often.
There were a few autonomous flirts.
Madrona, though–she just doesn’t seem into it.
When I see the way Aspen looks at Niko, and I compare that to the way that Madrona looks at Lamont, I start to feel doubts.
Aspen’s burning happiness makes my toes tingle–it brings tears to my eyes. She’s just so lit up from within. And Niko, like a Bobbsey Twin, matches her happiness.
I want Madrona to experience this same passion and joy. I’m not going to push her into anything. We’ll let her take her time, maybe meet a few more Sims. There’s no rush.
While I was watching the two eldest daughters venture towards and away from romance, we received the first pop-up that Willow’s days were coming to an end.
I’m in denial. I actually can’t even write about it now without tearing up.
I know that I didn’t play for five weeks because I wanted to avoid seeing this pop-up.
Willow’s not bummed about it. She’s been amazing all her life. And she knows it. She also knows that she’s getting older. She’s retired from the top of the comedian career. She’s achieved her Jokestar aspiration. And she notices now that she doesn’t feel like doing the dishes anymore. I’ll queue-up the action, she’ll collect a shoulder-high stack of dirty dishes, and then she’ll set them down on the counter, and wander to the rooftop to use the microscope. She’s had a lifetime of cleaning up for the Boughs. Now, she’s ready for a change in form and function.
But I’m not accepting that her life will end. I’m secretly hoping for a game-crash, a laptop explosion, anything to forestall the inevitable. Ok. Not really. For why make all my other Sims suffer? And I love my old Toshiba. I will be sad when it refuses to boot and I need to replace this machine that’s been with me since our TS2 days. And if any of those apocalypses happened, it would still be the end of Willow.
It’s just that–every now and then, you get a Sim who defines the game for you. Cedar did that for me. Acacia did that. Palo Verde did that. And Willow. Willow is to me everything perfect. She’s the number one–whole, integral, that out of which all else is possible. I can’t imagine the game without her. Can I just stop the legacy now?
Meanwhile, Poplar fascinates me. Her traits certainly don’t offer any inherent charms: hot-headed and mean. And yet, there’s something about her that is so appealing.
She’s got these eyebrows.
She’s one of those camera-aware Sims, and she’ll look right at me, through the screen, just daring me.
Poplar has rolled the wish to be friends with Blue Skullhead, whose real name is Tyson Lyman, or something like that. Being the romantic storyteller that I am, I’m thinking maybe when Poplar ages up, which won’t be too long from now, she will want to get together with Blue. I’ve always wanted to have him in the family. Time will tell if she agrees with my fairy tale or if she’s just adding to her limited friend list.
Aspen, in her own quietly self-directed way, has been promoted at work, no longer a cheer-leader, but now an athlete for whom the leaders cheer. With her life falling into place professionally and personally, she’s been thinking a lot.
She rolled a whim to put into motion everything she’s been thinking about.
She wants to marry Mailman No. 2.
Aspen proposed in true Aspen-style.
They both seem so ready for whatever comes next. It suddenly makes me feel very old to see the two of them, so very young, about to embark on their lives.
After the proposal, Aspen went to bed. She’d had a long, full day, and there was another game tomorrow.
Niko hung out in the kitchen that was starting to feel like home to him.
The ghost of Aspen’s father, Ironwood Bough, assured us that he knows about these developments in his family, and he approves. The digital life may not be a fairy tale–it may just be something even better: a semblance of life and family and love.