The Russian Wife Experience

I once had a neighbor many years ago who “bought” himself a wife. Actually, two — but not at the same time, of course. The first was a mail-order bride from the Philippines, which resulted in a marriage that lasted about fifteen years and produced two beautiful daughters. But, all good things come to an end and after all those years, his now-Americanized wife packed up and moved out.

“I think I’ll get myself a Russian wife this time,” the neighbor casually remarked when I saw him one day after their divorce. He said it in much the same way one might speak when ordering a pizza. A bit like “Yeah, I think I want anchovies on it.”

Maybe he lacked social skills. He was a bit of a geek, and overall, my thought is that for him “ordering a wife” online was simply the quickest, easiest way to complete a desired transaction.

By the way, he did, indeed, get a Russian lady for his second wife. That marriage produced a son and lasted for quite some time, although I believe she, too, eventually packed up and left. This was years ago, and I’ve long since lost track of the fellow.

He was on my mind, however, as I pondered what to do with Michael Sorensen, a young adult sim who is living alone for the first time. Michael, you see, comes from a highly dysfunctional family, and if you’ve followed along on my blog for a while, you probably know that when I create sims or age them up, I choose traits for them at random. So it was that when Michael aged up to young adult status, he had the misfortune to get the new “unflirty” trait. It seemed a good addition to his gloomy personality, and certainly seemed to fit right in with his background.

But, as I saw him sitting alone in his new house, I felt sorry for Michael. Everyone deserves a loving relationship, right? I love seeing my sims find that “someone special”, get married, and start families of their own.

Of course, I knew that Michael could never manage this without a little help. It was time for a bit of “player intervention.”

How could I find a wife for Michael and yet make it part of a somewhat “realistic” storyline? As that question ran through my mind, memories of my old neighbor surfaced. Yes, the perfect solution. Michael could “buy” himself a wife.

I suppose I could have easily chosen an Asian townie to play the role, but instead I opted to go with a Russian bride. I quickly went into CAS and prepared to design the perfect woman for Michael. When I clicked “Add Sim” to Michael’s household, I was very pleasantly surprised to find this young lady.

From the moment I saw her, I loved her. To me, she somehow looked exactly as I’d imagined a good “Russian wife” should.

Because she had a very special role to play in my game, I didn’t use my “random factor” to select her traits. I gave her the following:

  • Neat
  • Cheerful
  • Bookworm

Those seemed like good qualities for a wife. I also gave her a “Family Oriented” aspiration. She’s hoping to have a big, happy family.

Finally came the moment of truth. I clicked on Michael’s household and went in to play. I found Galina sitting at the kitchen table. My imagination kicked in, of course, and I could sense her nervousness as she waited to meet her prospective husband for the first time. (In CAS, I left their status as “roommates” to give them a chance to develop an actual relationship on their own.)

Things went quite well. Michael sat down and they began a very pleasant chat. They discussed their interests, they spent time getting to know one another, and they had a few deep conversations. All the wile the specter of Michael’s “unflirty” personality was hovering over the meeting. Did I dare attempt a flirtation?

Finally, I tried. Of course, the best Michael could manage was an “awkward” flirt. I had hoped Galina would be understanding, but it didn’t happen that way. Next, I tried having her flirt with Michael. That was not good. Within a matter of moments, they were well on their way to hating each other. How could I stop this disaster from happening?

Maybe I should set a more romantic mood, I decided. I quickly grabbed an incense burner and soon the sweet fragrance of romantic sandalwood was wafting through the air. It seemed to help a little, but not enough to turn the tide. Even though they were in a flirty atmosphere, I couldn’t get any romance blossoming between them.

I almost gave up. From this experience, my guess is that it’s impossible for an “unflirty” sim to ever find love and marital happiness. I thought of letting them go right on hating each other — their bars were filled with red — but force them into marriage through CAS. After all, arranged marriages don’t always begin with love and affection, right?

Had I done that, I doubt that Michael and Galina could ever have had children, and that was the whole point of the “Russian wife” experience. This was supposed to be an easy, painless way for socially inept Michael to start a family.

So, in desperation I headed back to CAS. I temporarily changed Michael’s nature from unflirty to romantic. Oh, what a difference! It didn’t take long for these two to get things going hot and heavy. Too hot, in fact. While they were kissing passionately the incense caught fire and burned up half the kitchen. Fortunately, Galina had sense enough to grab a fire extinguisher. Once the fire was out, they picked up where they left off and headed to the bedroom for a little woo-hoo.

I figured it was all right to “marry” the couple since they were getting along. I slipped back into CAS again, changed their relationship status to pronounce them husband and wife, and then…yeah, I changed Michael back to his usual unflirty self.

Before I left, I photographed the happy couple at home. They both love reading, so maybe they will be able to make their marriage work.

Michael and Galina at home sharing their love of books.

Now, what will happen when it’s time for them to begin a family? Will Michael be able to actually have a relationship? Or will I once again have to resort to drastic measures to overcome his inability to handle romantic flirtations? Will incense help? Or will that only lead to burning down their house? Will Galina have patience enough to put up with her gloomy husband?

Only time will tell, but for now, the Russian wife has proved to be quite an interesting experience, both for Michael and for me.

 

Advertisements

Vampires – Should I Bite?

This should probably be an easy decision for me. As a “realistic” style Sims player, I don’t care to have vampires — or aliens, or plant-sims, or werewolves — in my game. And before you ask, yes, I’ve tried those different life forms. They’re not for me.

While playing Sims 2, I did create a few vampires, mostly to see what all the excitement was about. I tried it, I didn’t like it, and afterward, I simply ignored the whole concept of vampirism in my game. I didn’t have a choice, you see. Electronic Arts included vampires in an otherwise fantastic expansion, so like them or not, I had to live with them. I decided I could easily work around — or, well, actually play around — the idea of vampires by considering it a dreadful, deadly disease. Should any of my sims be turned, I would simply declare them to be fatally ill, and that would be the end of the poor sim.

I never had to use that strategy, however, because it never happened. Apparently sims don’t become vampires unless they want to — meaning, of course, unless the player decides to play that way.

During Sims 2, I also had aliens in my game for quite some time. I had, in fact, an entire Alien-Earthling war. We earthlings won, and having decided that I didn’t really like playing aliens, I banished them all back to their home planet far, far away, never to be seen or heard from again.

Plant sims? Werewolves? No thanks. I can do without them.

I did have a few witches in my Sims 2 game, and while I didn’t do much with ghosts I did have a few “Knowledge” sims who loved ghost-hunting. It was actually rather amusing.

But let’s get back to vampires.

They’ve come to Sims 4 in a big way, with an entire game pack devoted to their nocturnal activities.

Sims 4 Vampire

They bring along a new world — Forgotten Hollow — and a few other new things for the game. The complete list of items included can be found HERE as part of the Sims 4 Vampire Guide at VIP Sims.

As I first read through the new gameplay additions, I cringed a bit. Truly, I did.  It’s all about vampires…nothing else! But, what else should I have expected from a game pack called “Vampires”?

New traits include:

  • I Am the Master
  • Regained Humanity
  • A True Master

Nope. Nothing of interest to me there.

How about aspirations:

  • Vampire Family
  • Good Vampire
  • Master Vampire

No! I would never use any of these for my sims.

Lot traits, clothes, club activities, and hairstyles. You guessed it. All designed to complement the vampire life. And as a new skill, sims can learn “vampire lore”. That might be somewhat interesting, but for my sims, probably not.

So, it would seem that this new pack has absolutely nothing — repeat, nothing — to offer me and my sims. It should be easy to “just say NO” and forget about the pack. But, I can’t.

Am I crazy?

Part of it is the fact that as a dedicated simmer, I like my Sims collections to be complete. Whether I personally like a new addition to the game or not, I buy it. That’s how it’s always been in the past. And without exception, I’ve always found something to enjoy with each new expansion, stuff pack, or game pack.

But…vampires? Nothing but…vampires?

Wouldn’t I be wasting money to buy a pack that has nothing I want to use? Well, I could always use a few new lots, and the idea of having a new world is appealing. But then again, I’ve heard that Forgotten Hollow isn’t much.

I had just about made up my mind to forego this game pack, but temptation kicked in again when I saw it on sale. Still, the thought of getting a game pack, installing it, and then hating it makes me nervous. I’ve started questioning my sanity.

Another factor is the “Verdict” from the game review at Sims VIP which says, in part, that while the main point is vampires…”there is enough included that it will be a welcomed addition to your game regardless of how you play.”

The reviewer also allays another concern by assuring players that…”NPC Vampires don’t take over your game and Vampires won’t turn other Sims into Vampires.” In other words I don’t have to worry about any “deadly diseases” infecting my precious simmies.

All of which means I’m back on the fence again. I’m tempted. I’m very tempted. But I’m scared, too. Should I take a chance and purchase Vampires?  Or should I just accept the fact that this game pack isn’t for me and that my game won’t really be lacking anything if I don’t buy it?

I’d love to hear from players who already have the game pack installed. Please, help me make up my mind!

Getting Back to the Game

Until yesterday, the last time I’d played The Sims was in June, 2016. That’s a long, long time. Now, at last, I’m back to my game, and it’s surprisingly difficult!

First, let me explain. I’m sure it seems odd that a devoted Sims player would be away from the game for months at a time, but that’s part of how my life works. I tend to go “all in” with whatever I’m doing at any given moment, so when something comes along to change my direction, other things sometimes get left behind…for a while.

Last June is when I began my new business as a consultant for Perfectly Posh, and I’d be delighted if you visited my website and checked out the great, naturally-based products available. Any questions, please let me know!

But this blog is about playing games, not pampering ourselves. The point is it took a little time to get things going as a new consultant, so I had less time to spend with my sims. Over the last few months other things happened, as well, such as two stays in the hospital and having surgery. But, I’m home. I’m well, and I’m playing my game again.

I was excited to hear about the addition of toddlers to Sims 4, and I have to say that I love these little darlings! I’m crazy about the traits. So far I have one family with a fussy, cranky toddler, another with a very clingy little one, yet another with a most independent little girl, and one family with a real little charmer on their hands.

TS4_Toddlers_video_v1.jpg
I love our toddlers!

Getting back into the game, however, was not as easy as clicking an icon and loading a saved file. Needless to say, my game was woefully out of date. So was my Origin client. It took a long time to update before I could even think of playing.

Next, I wanted to add the City Living expansion pack. I purchased it through Amazon then struggled to figure out how to redeem the digital code. I’ve done it before in the past, but this time…well, I guess my brain just wasn’t working right. I finally did get the expansion downloaded to my game, and that’s when I took a deep breath and clicked the PLAY button.

91l9VIwKXSL._AC_SL1500_

For what it’s worth, I’m always a little nervous when I add an expansion or game pack to my Sims. I know from past experience that things can and do sometimes go wrong. Did I have any mods in the game? Or had I removed them? It had been so long since I’d played, I didn’t have a clue. Oh, well. In the end, it didn’t matter. The download worked, my sims now have a new city, and…oh, dear, just how do I actually play this game?

Yep. That’s how it felt. I was a newbie all over again. I wrestled with the camera controls, couldn’t figure out how to rotate furniture, and when I tried to age up one sim, I had no idea how to bake a birthday cake. Could I buy one? Why didn’t my sims have enough skill to make a simple cake? So, yeah, I finally realized it was a Cooking skill, not a Baking skill, and Michael Sorensen aged up to a young adult and moved out on his own.

I couldn’t remember how to enter a cheat code, and then I couldn’t remember what cheat code I was supposed to use to edit a pre-existing sim.  FYI, it’s Control-Shift-C, and the codes are testingcheats true and cas.fulleditmode.

Soon, though, I was thoroughly enjoying my gameplay. As I said before, I adore the new toddlers. I also like the “lot traits” available with the City Living, although I’m not sure if they can be applied to lots in other worlds or not. I’ve read both yes and no. I haven’t figured it out yet.

I’m also having fun with the festivals from the expansion, and I’m looking forward to playing a few families today. It’s great to reconnect with my sims and even better to reconnect with my blogging friends here.

HAPPY SIMMING TO ALL!