Connor dabbled in writing Science Fiction and Drama, which didn’t bring in much money. Then he launched the Whodunnit mystery crime series, and his writing career took off. (Whodunnit, Whatdunnit, Whendunnit, Wheredunnit, and Howdunnit. Whendunnit made a nice showing on the NYT Bestseller list and maybe be optioned for a movie.) With that, his respectable journalism career, and Susie’s superstardom, the money really started rolling in. It was time to upgrade their lifestyle.
They shopped around for quite a while. (Read: I browsed all over fan sites to find a house I really liked and they could actually afford.) But eventually they found one that worked for them and me.
The whole family packed up and said goodbye to the cottage across the street from the beach.
Piled into Susie’s limo.
And said hello to a three-story Victorian on a cliff overlooking the bay. The third story was unfinished, but it was ready for expansion in the future. It was perfect for their new budget.
The move in was confusing, of course.
Lance jumped on the space-themed kid’s room, because, you know, you don’t have to be a LITTLE kid to appreciate that. Jared got bumped to the lavender room. Connor and Susie bunked down in luxury in the master bedroom.
Lance moved his weight set the to the attic and turned that into his gym.
To top it all off, they went green and bought a 2010 Prius. Time to stop relying entirely on bikes and car services.
(An exact clone of the car that we bought this year, down to the color and the tinted windows. I’m sure that was part of Toyota’s marketing reasoning in releasing the car as a game object. I am probably not the only hybrid-interested Sims player.)
She drew crowds wherever she played. People recognized her on the street. Her band became popular and changed her role to make her more and more prominent. With every role change, from backup guitarist to lead guitarist to front woman, she had a new sexy absurd costume to wear.
Then she maxed out her guitar skill and was promoted to Rock Star (that’s a promotion, eh) in short succession. There was much rejoicing.
Oh, yeah, the rejoicing.
We’ll close the curtains on the rest of that.
If she turned the charm on to a few more people, she would max out her Charisma skill, which would mean she met her lifetime ambition — to be the best, most charming guitarist possible.
So, why not throw a party, where she would have a whole lot of people to charm? That would take let her reach her goal with the ultimate style.
She threw a formal party at Simplicity Wedding Garden (a cute public lot download that I wanted to try out).
The family drove there in her chauffeured limousine, which befits a proper Rock Star.
Yes, that’s a pink limousine.
Lancelot arrived, resplendent in a white dinner jacket, with Malika on his arm.
Um, Malika’s dress kind of stole Susie’s look. Imitating bitch.
But the real problem was noxious green haze surrounding Malika. She showed up smelling like she’d rolled in a sewer and then forgotten to shower for days. From the look on her face, even she could stand the smell of her.
The party started going downhill as soon as she arrived. The guests just couldn’t get over the stink.
Trying desperately to salvage things, Susie got out the guitar and tried to serenade the crowd, but it didn’t help much.
(Note Susie’s formals match Malika’s down to the hair.)
People left quickly, before Susie had much chance to charm anyone. Susie was furious, but Lancelot was crushed. This was Malika, the love of his life. How could she do that?
Susie tried to console him, but he had a lot to think about. The bloom was off the rose just a little too soon.
Eventually, in the twilight, after everyone had left, Susie sat alone and tried to clear her head.
There was a silver lining. The fiasco was the doorway to some long-needed mother-son bonding. So Susie kept Lance company while he painted… and played with his old dollhouse.
The next day they did what he wanted and spent a while playing catch.
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.
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.
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.)
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.