I’ve been thinking a lot about Doug and Tam lately. Both met their appointment with Grim in a beautiful way: Doug with a smile on his face; Tam with gratitude.
Sometimes, when Sims hear their name called, they look up with sadness or regret. Doug looked up with a smile.
During his last day, he had done everything he enjoyed: he hugged his aunt and niece, enjoyed conversation with family, painted, danced, and looked at the sky.
Other Simmers and I have observed that Sims seem to know when their time is about up. That’s when they spend extra time with their family and friends and simply enjoying life. I feel this was the case with Doug.
Tam is the first Sim I’ve heard to say “Vadish” as her final word, when she lay down for reaping.
That expresses, to me, Tam’s true character.
Right before she went into the kitchen to keep her appointment with Grim, she and onezero chatted at the outside bar. Tam kept the conversation light, even when onezero yelled at her. After Tam rolled mean, and onezero rolled insane, it was rare for the two to have a conversation that didn’t include yelling and insulting–no matter how often I tried to cancel the action. They remained best friends and kept their friendship bar in the green. They were sisters who loved each other and fought.
When Tam said, “Vadish,” I remembered who she had always been–a Sim with a smile and understanding for others.
Somehow, I’m able to accept her meanness without qualification. I think she enjoyed the trait. She loved the strength that it provided.
Life can be hard sometimes–even for our Sims. Before Tam rolled mean, I would sometimes see her looking at her siblings with such soft eyes, as if her heart were breaking, as if she felt everything that they felt, and magnified it by a hundred.
It can’t be easy to live like that, always open to what others feel, always receptive and responding to the moods around you, like an empath.
Tam’s meanness gave her a way to be strong. It let her find herself and establish her own boundaries, rather than always melting with those who were around her. I would have loved to have played her if she had rolled something that I take comfort in, like “good” or “perfectionist.” But “mean” was what suited her.
Doug lived his life both in the center and in the background. I often thought of Tom Wingfield from “The Glass Menagerie” when I thought of Doug. Here was a Sim who put his sister first. Doug didn’t share Tom’s conflict over this, however. For Doug, being there for onezero was a purpose that he embraced.
I always expected that Doug would meet a woman he loved, have a kid, and move into the mansion across the street. And this might have happened if Tam hadn’t rolled mean. Because she did, Doug seemed to take on the role of nurturer and supporter for onezero. He was always there for her.
This generation, in some ways, feels like a quiet generation–their time passed relatively quickly on our calendar, and neither Tam nor Doug were flashy or attention seekers. I’ve given more attention to onezero, who always drew my imagination and who has, through her actions, now stepped out of the generational flow of her siblings.
I know I’ll continue to think a lot about Doug and Tam. I hope I always remember what they contributed to the family, and I hope I’m able to bring that energy into myself and express it half as well.