Memorable Moments: Meeting the Parents

This lovely Victorian Wedding Coach by Hexameter is available at Mod the Sims
This lovely Victorian Wedding Coach by Hexameter is available at Mod the Sims

Maybe it’s because of Jonathan and Kat’s recent marriage in my story, but lately I’ve been thinking of other sims and other marriages in the game. Who doesn’t love a good love story, right? Of all the sims I’ve created and played over the last sixteen years, the most perfectly-matched couple has to be Quentin and Miranda McGehee. From the moment they first met, everyone knew it was just a matter of time before they declared their love for one another and got married.

I wish I still had my Sims 2 screenshots. Alas, they’re stuck on the hard drive of a computer that’s long since been retired from use. I can’t show you the happy couple, but I can share a bit of their story, especially the horrifying tale of Miranda’s first meeting with her soon-to-be in-laws.

Miranda was a “family aspiration” sim. I created her in CAS, and if you’ve read the story of Mike McGrath, you know about my naming conventions. Male and female. Each letter of the alphabet. The original intention was that these “CAS-couples” would eventually meet and become romantic partners. So, Miranda was supposed to fall in love with Mike.

She did date him briefly. She was working as a security guard and met him late one night while she was picking up the daily receipts from a very popular bar. That was one of the duties I’d assigned her. The romance never went anywhere, but Mike soon disappeared from town. He’d been sent up the river, as they call it. Yep. Mike had turned to a life of crime, had been arrested, and was serving his sentence behind bars.

Miranda was aghast — not so much because she missed Mike, but because she’d totally missed all the signs of his criminal activity. She was in the law enforcement career, for goodness sake! How had she been so blind? It was distressing, indeed, to think she could be so easily fooled by a man.

That wasn’t the first of Miranda’s unhappy romances. Finding the right man was, of course, very important to her. She wanted to get married. She wanted a huge family. Miranda’s backstory, you see, was a tragic one. She was an only child whose parents had been shot and killed. She’d been raised in a foster home. That traumatic event led to both her desire to serve and protect as a police officer and her desire to have a real family of her own.

It seemed as if it would never happen. After her failed romance with Mike McGrath, she spent a lot of time trying to attract Freeman Ellis. He was another of my sims who just couldn’t seem to find love. I tried matching him and Miranda up, but he showed no more interest in her than he had in any other young woman I’d put on his pathway. Freeman eventually did find happiness with a nice young man and together they became my first gay couple.

But, back to Miranda. Mike was in jail. Freeman wasn’t interested. Who next? She dated several other single young men. There just weren’t any sparks there.

I’d worked my way down to Quentin and Quinella (her father was a gambling man) when my eyes lit up. So did Miranda’s, in fact. In Sims 2, we had a wonderful “attraction system” and it was 4 bolts — the most powerful force — between Miranda and Quentin. Like Miranda, he was in the law enforcement career. In their storyline, they first met when he visited her precinct to present a talk to the newest officers. Afterward, they chatted and discovered they had everything in common — from their desire for a family to their favorite foods and music. They were, plain and simple, the perfect couple.

Sure enough. I couldn’t have kept them apart had I tried. Matching up couples had been a good idea at the start, but by this point, I saw that it wasn’t working. MIranda certainly deserved happiness after her long, desperate search for a husband, and who was I to stand in the way of true love?

It wasn’t long before Quentin proposed, and Miranda joyfully accepted. They began making plans for their wedding — and I began making plans as well. I wanted to give Miranda what she most wanted — a family. I knew that, in time, she and Quentin would have children, but I wanted her to have a chance to feel the love of a family right away. I decided to create parents for Quentin.

Now, if you played Sims 2, you’ll know that what I wanted to do wasn’t quite possible. Once a sim was created and put into the world, you couldn’t go back to CAS to add family relationships. Oh, but, as always, I had my imagination, and I used it to create an adult couple. I gave them the last name of McGehee, and I pretended they were Quentin’s mother and father. Imagination is good that way.

Of course, I had to explain how they could suddenly appear in the game. I couldn’t have characters who’d been born yesterday, you know. My story was quite logical. Quentin had been born and raised in a nearby town and had then moved to Cedar Creek — the name of my main Sims 2 town — to join the city’s police force. Now, as the wedding day dawned, I would bring his parents to town so that they could meet his bride-to-be and attend the wedding.

I was so happy for Miranda. Her dreams were coming true. Not only was she about to marry the love of her life, she was about to have a real family.

Nice idea. Unfortunately, I made a very embarrassing little slip up, one which shocked Quentin’s parents, caused unforgettable humiliation to Miranda, and turned the event into one of the most memorable moments in my long history of simming.

Sims 2, you see, was unlike either Sims 3 or Sims 4. When you exited a household, the lot “froze” in time. When you next returned to that household, you found it exactly as you’d left it. As a rotational player, I’d played Quentin’s lot and had then moved on to several other families before returning.

It was early morning in the game, and I quietly added Quentin’s parents to his household. I imagined them flying into town and taking a taxi to their son’s home, excited for the big wedding to follow. Quentin was already at work, and that was fine. The wedding would take place later.

Mr. and Mrs. McGehee opened the door and walked inside the house. There, they came face to face with a very surprised — and scantily-clad — Miranda. Oops! I’d forgotten that when I’d previously left Quentin’s lot Miranda was still in his bed following a hot date and a night of woo-hoo. I don’t know who was more stunned by this sudden, unexpected meeting — Miranda, Quentin’s folks, or me.

What a way to meet your fiancé’s parents!

The wedding was beautiful — except for Quentin’s mother getting sick and causing a scene. Poor woman drank too much of the champagne, I think. She and her new daughter-in-law never did become too close. Of course, I moved them into a little home of their own and they lived out the rest of their lives in Cedar Creek. Never did they forget that moment when they first met Miranda.

On the bright side, the marriage was one of those that were truly made in heaven. Miranda and Quentin raised six children, including one set of twins, and became pillars of the community. They drove an SUV, were active in youth programs such as scouting, and frequently took their large brood camping. Miranda did leave the police force to become a stay-at-home mom, and the McGehee children were smart, well-behaved, and well-liked.

So, yes, the love story had a happy ending. In fact, I like to think of Quentin, Miranda, and their children as still living happily ever after in a little town known as Cedar Creek.



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