1.6 Speaking of Uncle Jared

Jared Frio entered his twilight years the same way he’d led the rest of his life: an obnoxious, mean-spirited, bully.

He played practical jokes on his family, like sneaking up behind to scare them (though this one, being in plain sight, didn’t go off as planned).

He danced around naked (OK, here he’s actually changing clothes after a bath, but it’s funny anyway).

He left the stereo running non-stop, all hours of the day. When there was music playing near him, which was pretty much all the time, he danced. When anyone was near, he’d pull them away to dance with him, whether they liked it or not.

And I mean anyone.

He hit on the hired help.

He yelled at people and insulted them he’d had a bad day, or because he was bored, or because it amused him.

Sometimes he blew things up.

He terrorized little Lancelot when he was a kid, but now that he was a teenager, something fundamental in him snapped. He stopped putting up with Jared’s crap and started lashing back.

If Jared so much as attempted something mean to Lancelot or the rest of the family, Lancelot was on his ass. And Jared could dish it out, but he couldn’t take it so well. Soon, even the pretense of family affection burned away.

Things got a little bit tense in the Sample household. Susie and Connor laughed and changed the subject whenever Jared and Lance looked like they might blow up at each other. The less time they spent in the same room together, the better.

1.5 Unhappy Birthday

Lancelot was such an unmemorable elementary schooler that I failed to take many pictures of him. He didn’t say much, and he spent most of his time doing good-boy things like working on his homework. Susie was spending most of her time promoting herself and her band, but Connor always made time for his son.

Lancelot tried in vain to get the attention of Malika Williams at school. When throwing spit balls at her head failed, he managed to get her to come home with him from school once and play. She found his dollhouse and played the whole afternoon, excluding him.

Then, before we knew it, it was Lance’s birthday again. As it turned out, he shared a birthday with Uncle Jared, so they had a joint party.

Lance blew out the candles.

And aged into a teen. He became Brave!

He inherited his mom’s weight, but otherwise is not a bad-looking fellow.

Jared also became a swinging senior.

But here’s where I learned the power of the birthday party compulsion over simple human needs. Unbeknowst to me, Lancelot really needed to pee when I told him to blow out those candles. But he did what I told him to. The party gathered around to cheer him on, and he basked in their adoration while the pressure in his bladder increased. Afterward, instead of going to the bathroom, he went to get a slice of his birthday cake because, hey, that’s what you do after you blow out that candle.

The result of this was that he peed himself while standing in line for cake, standing right in front of Malika!

Utterly humiliated, he got out a mop to cleanup his own mess while everyone complained of the stink. He’d never be able to show his face to Malika again. He was barely a teenager, and his life was over.

1.4 Susie’s Brush With Death

Playing in the park was getting old. Same people most of the time. If she was going to build a broad fan base, she was going to have to check out a few new places. Why not the community pool?

Besides, it was a hot day, and she could use a dip.

As dusk arrived, Susie pulled herself out of the pool and serenaded the swimmers in the hot tup.

Then something unbelievable happened. A swimmer became exhausted and started going under! She scrambled for the edge of the pool, but failed to grab it in time. Before she even had time to react, Susie was staring at a drowned woman.

Beside her, the shadows began to coalesce into a a human shape….

The Grim Reaper called upon the soul of the drowned woman.

It listened to the spirit beg for… what? Its life back? A trip to Heaven instead of Hell?

With a slash if its scythe, the woman’s spirit disappeared. Susie and her fellow swimmers stood transfixed as the last wisp of the soul dissipated in the air.

After that, the Grim Reaper went swimming, dark cloak and all. Apparently, when you’re the Reaper, you don’t have to worry about getting your work clothes soaking wet.

Susie fled the pool and went home, troubled and frightened. The next day, she was drawn to the graveyard in the thought of seeing… well, she wasn’t sure what she expected to see. But nothing happened there. The morbid fascination stayed with her for days afterward. She secretly resolved that if someone close to her were to die, she would take their ashes to the science lab to see if she could learn the secrets of the afterlife. After all, Jared was a lot older than her or Connor, and why should she care what happened to him when he died?

1.3 And Along Comes Baby

Susie’s career was really taking off. She climbed her way through the ranks of musical hangers-on until somebody finally noticed her, and she started playing guitar in a band.

But eventually, she had to make time for family. Considering how she and Connor couldn’t keep their hands off each other, they didn’t get around to having kids for quite a while. But eventually Susie’s biological clock started ticking. Connor was long past ready to be a father. He just waited in his patient way for Susie to want to be a mother.

And then there was little Lancelot, heir to the hoped-for Sample empire.

He was born Athletic and Good (the latter passed down from Daddy). He could have been a male clone of Susie, except he had his father’s eyes.

Connor was big on the intellectual side of being a parent.

Susie was an enthusiastic cheerleader.

And, of course, Susie’s inner child gave her a unique perspective on parenthood. She could have almost as much fun with Lance’s toys and he could.

Neither of them, however, bothered to put much time into potty-training him. When his birthday rolled around, he was still in diapers, and that wasn’t such a great thing for his development. He ended up developing an allergy to meat and became a Vegetarian.

1.2 Yay Married Life

Susie moved in with Connor and the honeymoon was on.

They just couldn’t get enough of each other.

Connor was putting in his time as a journalist for the paycheck, but his real dream was to be a fiction author. Since he enjoyed being alone, he would often come home from work only to spend hours at the computer writing.

Though Connor was not rich by Sim standards, life with him was a big step up for Susie. He lived in a lovely 2-bedroom cottage across the street from the beach. The view from the back deck was breathtaking.

There was just one little problem with this arrangement. Connor lived with his older brother Jared. And Jared was an asshole of the first degree.

The problem was that Connor was devoted to his brother. He and Susie had words about him continuing to live with them. I mean, seriously, did a married man need to share a place with his brother? Really? And yet somehow Jared never actually moved out. Connor might be quiet and shy, but he was no pushover. Susie ended up learning to live with him.

(I took a look at this guy’s personality traits and almost moved him out. But then it occurred to me that having an asshole NPC running around the house might be good for some fun. So I left Jared in the house, but I left him to the AI to control.)

1.1 Finding Love

The beginning of Susie’s life isn’t all that well-documented. She started out very career-focused. She began practicing guitar and performing in the park for tips and adulation. She also spent a lot of time fixing the appliances in her crappy little house. But I don’t have photographs of that.

She met her first love outside the theater when she left work. His name was, I kid you not, Cycl0n3 Sw0rd. Susie, like me, has a weakness for geek boys.

They were both young, working crap jobs with ambition to make something of themselves. He was only a Spell Checker now, but someday he would be a journalist. They had a nice chat outside the theater, which he lost the thread of, being absent minded. Then he kissed her. She hadn’t even been flirting, she swears. Just a nice conversation, then instant-lip lock. Maybe it was meant to be. Or maybe not.

Suddenly, Susie was in love. She couldn’t think about anything but Cycl0n3. She wandered around the house fantasizing about him. She longed to call him, but she agonized that it hadn’t been long enough since she called him last. And he? Well, he didn’t seem to call.

Susie was a born party host, and hey, she wouldn’t look too desperate if she just invited him to her next party, right? He showed up at the party, got into the grove, offended all the guests by making disgusting remarks, and… kissed someone else. Right there in front of her.

Susie was heartbroken. She mooned over him for days, and in days in Sim-time is a lot of time. I have to deduce from this that, in addition to being absent-minded, Cycl0ne was Inappropriate and a Great Kisser. A combination like that is a born heartbreaker. He can kiss you out of the blue, not meaning anything by it, and suddenly he’s the only guy you can think about. I’ve met guys like that, come to think of it.

After that, she dated her boss at the theater for a while, a fellow named Stiles McGraw. He was charmed by her inner child, and they used to spend hours playing tag in the yard of her house. He also turned out to be rich. Susie might’ve pushed for a deeper relationship, but I hadn’t quite figured out how to make romance work. When she invited him to stay the night, and he said, “It’ll be fun!” and kept the whole thing chaste, she gave up on him. Maybe he was gay.

(Cycl0n3 and Stiles turned out to be roommates, and Cyclon3 later became her husband’s best friend, so these characters stuck around on the fringes of Susie’s life forever. Sometimes you can’t escape your exes.)

Then she met Connor Frio. The geek weakness was back. He was quiet, shy, socially awkward, and spent almost all his time with his nose buried in a book. In short, he was irresistible.

After a short courtship even by Sims standards, they were engaged. The ceremony was to be held at the Museum of Modern Art. Susie was there early, respendent in white, and the guests waited with bated breath. And the groom was…. where? Not here, where you’d expect him to be, where his bride was waiting for him.

Susie entertained for an hour, smiling and making small talk, trying to make it look as if this was the way things were supposed to be. She tried not to look at her watch too often. (I, on the other hand, kept pausing the game and scrambling around on the menus. Is there any way I could have thrown a wedding party and not invited the groom??)

Then he came dashing up, breathless. Connor apparently lost track of time and was LATE TO HIS OWN WEDDING. Turns out he’s absent-minded too, in addition to Bookworm, Good, Loner, and Unflirty. But at least his heart was in the right place, and he didn’t forget his vows.

Connor took Susie’s name, so they became the Sample family.

1.0 Meet Susie Sample

I have to come clean and say that this is not a true Legacy Challenge legacy Sims 3 family. I started before I knew all the rules of the Legacy Challenge. The official challenge seems to center around keeping your 10-generation Sims 3 family on the same lot for the entire time and building a mansion there. I’d rather show off my upward-climbing family by allowing them to buy their way up to nicer homes. I think it’s fun for them to move around in the community, and I’m pretty lousy at designing houses anyway.

Without further ado, let me introduce you to the founding member of the Sample clan, the only Sim in this story who I created myself. Meet Susie.

I created Susie to be a bit of an avatar. She’s overweight and redheaded, though more readheaded than I am. I gave her some personality traits inspired by how I view myself. Yes, I named her Susie Sample as a gag, but after a while I got really attached to it. It seems to fit the bizarre, yet endearing, Sims 3 naming conventions.

Susie is charismatic, a party animal, a mooch, and childlike.

I’d like to think I’m not a mooch, at least.

I didn’t give her a fifth personality trait because I didn’t fully understand how the game worked. I thought I could let her choose any empty traits as she lived her life. This didn’t turn out to be the case. You or the game chooses personality traits at each Sim’s birthday until it is an adult. So she ended up stuck with only four traits.

Susie also has some skills after my own heart. She likes to tinker.

She’s also an amazingly good cook.

As sort of a path not taken, I gave her a musical ambition — Golden Tongue, Golden Fingers. My music has always been a side hobby, while programming took the forefront of my career. I figured that someone with the maximum number of friends and the best musical skills would be a wish-fulfillment alternate me.

She started out with the usual startup money and no bennies. Her original home was pretty shabby, but I didn’t get the hang of taking pictures until she had already moved out to the home you see here. How she got to this house, of course, is another story.