What about Ted?

Salix

“I like Ted a lot, and that doesn’t mean I want to marry him. It just means I like him a lot.”

Salix assures me that fulfilling one whim to flirt with a Sim does not entail a desire nor an obligation to make a lifelong commitment to said Sim.

In other words, even after her flirt with Ted, Salix is still unattached and loving it! While she will occasionally feel flirty or lovelorn, these moods are short-lived and generally overshadowed by focused, energetic, confident, or inspired emotions.

Since the hill they live on is one of the trail routes for the Oasis Springs Wellness Club, there are always passersby.

Any morning, Salix can head out there to catch her friends and meet new folks as they walk past.

This guy in the blue suede shoes is one of her new friends.

Dillon

Can you guess his traits by looking at his body language?

I was thrilled when we found out that he’s a childish goofball–a goofball! How long has it been since we’ve seen any of those? Generations, for sure!

He strolled by the next morning, too, and Salix, who happened to be gardening at the time, set down her trowel and came over to toss around a few jokes.

Dillon

Oh, gosh. I love him already.

Since her last flirt with Ted, which was at least three Sim days ago by now, Salix has been persistently avoiding rolling any romantic whims for any specific Sims. In fact, she hasn’t been rolling any romantic whims at all.

She’s claiming some time to concentrate on friendships, her new job at the restaurant, and developing skills. Romance, she tells me, can wait. This seems an unusual perspective for a Romance Sim, but she reminds me that she rolled romance, rather than developing it naturally or choosing it.

In three Sim days, when Sugar has her young adult birthday, we’ll find out who will be heir. Until then, there’s no need to rush anything.

The house has such a different feel now that it’s just Poplar and her two nieces. Poplar’s consistently been in a good mood. She’s friendly when Salix and Sugar’s friends come over, and so, slowly, she’s becoming friends with them, too.

Miracle

A shared love of painting helps them find common ground.

I wonder if Poplar felt tension from sibling rivalry before. She and Aspen were never close, and I can imagine that the youngest sister–and the spare, no less–might find it aggravating, especially if she were a mean hot-head, to be always hearing about how remarkable her oldest sister was. Aspen was, pretty much, the star of the show.

Poplar seems to have taken to heart her birthday commitment to be kinder and less impulsive.

She expressed how she felt about her run-away mouth through this painting:

Poplar's painting

She calls this The Monster I’ve Left Behind.

I found it touching to see this self-expression and then to reflect that she hadn’t yelled at anyone once since painting it.

Saturday afternoon, Poplar received a phone call from Minsk inviting the family over for his birthday party. Minsk was one of Poplar’s first friends, a friend from childhood.

When they arrived, Madrona, Irving, and lots of shared acquaintances were there, including all the mean guys from the gym that Salix met recently.

Madrona seems so happy with her life. She’s stayed fit through daily jogs. Her career in business has been fulfilling, and she has two handsome sons just about to become young adults. Plus, she and Lamont have enjoyed a lifelong love.

Party

Madrona feels proud of her life and her family.

Poplar continued her goodwill mission by autonomously hugging her favorite nephew Irving. She’s always had a soft spot for him.

Poplar

Autonomous hugs are the best!

At the party, the evil and mean guys hung out together, bonding over wicked jokes and becoming good friends, while the Boughs caught up on family news.

Salix

Everybody got along great.

Minsk, this is a great party. Thanks for inviting us all over! I’m sorry it never worked out between you and Salix. I guess she is a lot younger, though we did have a glass of youth potion waiting for you.

“That’s all right,” Minsk said. “It’s all for the best.”

Minsk

Happy birthday, Minsk. I love you.

The next evening, while Salix was at work, Minsk and Brody both dropped by to hang out with Poplar. She really seemed to enjoy connecting with these two old friends. I recalled that Brody was her first romantic interest, way back when it looked like there might be a mailman #3.

While they were chatting, Brody tossed a flirt in Poplar’s direction, and the red-minus hearts were flying. Those days have faded, and now, she prefers to enjoy the simplicity of the company of old friends.

Minsk

“We met on the pirate ship at Willow Creek, remember, Pop? You were captain, and I was first mate!”

Sugar Maple’s own childhood friend, Timmy, also stopped by to hang out. I love his narrow-shouldered look for it reminds me of Kyler and Palo Verde. Wouldn’t it be something to bring back that look into the family!

Tommy

You know, he’s got the squinty eyes and wide grin, too! Archetypal Sim 4 look!

“You ever think about the whole heir thing?” Salix asked Sugar on Sunday morning, while Sugar finished up her extra credit.

“Frankly, no,” said Shug. “What for? I got homework to think about when I want to occupy my mind with idle thoughts.”

Sugar and Salix

Sugar is the most studious Sim I’ve had, always autonomously devouring her homework and extra credit.

“We’ll know soon enough,” said Salix. “It just might fall to me, the heirship.”

“No biggie,” said Shug. “If I know you, you’re up for anything.”

“I’m not so sure,” said Salix. “Might be kinda fun to just not matter in any way, you know what I mean?”

“It’s not being the heir that makes a person matter,” said Sugar. “It’s being you. And you will always matter, Sal.”