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.

 

Maybe…or Maybe Not

Kat is so depressed she just wants to stay in bed all day.
Kat is so depressed she just wants to stay in bed all day.

Kat Phillips is devastated. She’s wanting to have a baby, and it’s just not happening. She thought she might be pregnant, and then she found out she wasn’t. She feels like a complete failure as a wife.

Jonathan didn’t think he wanted a family yet, but now he’s giving it more thought. What if he and Kat can’t ever have children? That would be awful. He’s still not sure he wants to be a father right now, but if Kat really wants a baby, maybe they should try again.

Or, maybe not.

Jonathan is confused. He’s been seeing Fiona Patterson, now he’s feeling guilty, and maybe he needs to re-dedicate himself to his beautiful wife.

Or, maybe not.

He enjoys the time he spends with Fiona. Sometimes he wishes he hadn’t gotten married. Maybe he really loves Fiona. Maybe more than he loves Kat.

Or, maybe not.

No, he does love his wife. That’s why he married her. He’s confused, Kat’s depressed, and at least they have their music to share.

 

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Graduation Day

Graduation DayIt’s the day that Jonathan and Kat have both been waiting for. They’re donning graduation caps and walking across the stage at the Academy of Performing Arts.

Jonathan is proud to have earned his Bachelor’s degree — with honors — in Violin performance. Fiona has earned her degree in Piano performance.

What’s ahead now for the young couple? Neither is quite sure. Jonathan will start sending out queries to symphony orchestras, but despite his degree, his honors, and his talent, it’s hard to get auditions. And even harder to land a chair in a major orchestra.

Katherine isn’t setting her sights so high. She’s happy being Jonathan’s wife, so she’d prefer spending her time at home, taking care of the house, cooking meals…and maybe setting up a nursery? She and Jonathan had agreed they wouldn’t start a family under after graduation day.

Well, Jonathan? Are you ready now?

Kat would love to have children, but sometimes she’s not sure how her husband really feels about it. He’s been a bit distant at times, but maybe that was just the pressure of final exams, long rehearsals, the stress of the performances he’s given, and all the worries about finding a position.

Kat hopes that there’s nothing seriously wrong in her marriage. She still harbors a few suspicions about Fiona Patterson. Now that they’re all out of school — Fiona graduated, too — there won’t be many opportunities for Jonathan and Fiona to cross paths.

Having a baby would be a great way to get Jonathan’s full attention. Kat’s hoping it will happen soon.

 

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 What do YOU think? Should Kat and Jonathan start a family now?

 

 

 

 

 

A Fun Find – Variable Relationships

If you’re a regular reader of this blog — and I hope you are — you know how much I love randomness in my simming. I create sims with randomly-chosen features in CAS. I randomly assign personalities and careers, not only to my CAS sims but to my townies as well. I keep a die next to my computer and roll it often to determine many different “random factors” in my game play.

This morning I found a wonderful little mod that will allow me to bring a new level of chaos and unpredictability into Sims 4. It’s the “Variable Default Relationship” mod by scumbumbo, and I can’t wait to try it in my game.

MTS_scumbumbo-1472599-VariableDefaultRelationshipsThanks, scumbumbo, for making this fun mod!

Here’s how scumbumbo describes the mod:

Everybody in a new household gets along by default. HOW UTTERLY BORING! Want a change? Want a challenge? With variable default relationships, your next household might be completely disfunctional!

This Mod will vary the starting sim relationships when a new household is created. The relationships can range anywhere from outright hatred to the very best of friends.

Both friendship and romance relationships vary. A married sim’s love may not be reciprocated, or perhaps both partners hate each other and it’s purely physical, or they could be great friends but the romance has gone stale!

The variance is not purely random. For those who know about probability, the resulting relationshps are based on a gaussian distribution centered on the default relationship values.

This mod will be great for the “townie” families I create for my game. It comes in three “strengths”, ranging from low to high.

  • The default version creates the highest level of variance
  • The medium version is somewhat less variable
  • The lowest strength will generally create relationships near to the default

I’ve downloaded the “high level” version, and I know I’m going to have a lot of fun with it.

Scumbumbo also says:

Since the results are based on statistical averages, even the lowest strength can on occasion create sims that utterly despise each other. It will be rare, but it is possible. BTW: I generated a lot of families during testing to tweak the results, but I am interested in any opinions as far as the tuning of the variances. Too much? Too little? Let me know!

This mod also affects newly generated “townie” sims households. Relationships in existing households will not be changed.

How Long Has This Been Going On?

OnoHey, what’s going on between Jonathan Evans and Fiona Patterson?

He’s happily married, and she’s happily in love with Benjamin Brooks, right?

So why were she and Jonathan slipping into the corner for a few quick hugs and kisses during a recent concert?

 

 

Maybe Jonathan’s marriage isn’t quite as happy as he’s led folks to believe…and maybe Fiona’s love for Benjamin isn’t all that true.

How long has this been going on?

Kat will be devastated if she finds out. So will Benjamin.

Can Jonathan and Fiona keep their illicit love a secret? Or will the truth come out?

 

 

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From the Parents’ Perspective

Edgar and Sara Evans are thrilled that their younger son, Jonathan, has now settled down, tied the knot, and is happily married. They’re thrilled, too, that the older son, Michael, and his wife, Carole, are going to be presenting them with their second grandchild in March.

Sara EvansSara wasn’t so thrilled about the sci-fi Jupiter awards. She didn’t win, but she has finished another sci-fi novel, Electric Earth, which has also been picked up by the book-of-the-month club and hailed in the literary digests. So, she’ll probably get another nomination, but she’ll probably lose again. It’s fine. It’s an honor just to be nominated.

She’s been keeping busy — when she’s not writing — by doing a little art collecting. She loves going to Annie Caldwell’s gallery in Newcrest. That’s close to where both Jonathan and Michael live, so it gives her a good opportunity to drop by and visit with their wives, and with little Theo, their first grandson.

What will the stork bring next? Sara’s excited and can hardly wait for the new baby to arrive.

Edgar is still puttering around, feeling a little lost now that he’s on ground duty. He did hire a maid service so that Sara can have for time for writing and for visiting with the kids. He misses them. Of course, having more grandchildren to spoil will make it easier. Jonathan says he and Kat won’t be having any little ones for a while, though. Not until their education is finished. Smart boy.

Sara and Edgar have been blessed, indeed. They’re pleased with all life has given them.

 

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To Love, Honor, and Cherish

Kat Where Are YouIt was a lovely wedding…once it got underway. For an anxious moment, Jonathan worried that his bride might not show up.

A quick call to Kat assured him that she was on her way, just running a little late. Huh? Late? For her own wedding? Now Jonathan’s worried that it might be a bad sign. But that’s crazy, right? He and Kat will have a good marriage.

Once Kat arrived, she still had to change into her wedding gown and do all those things women have to do. Hair. Make-up. A touch-up on her manicure. For heaven’s sake, Kat! The guests are waiting. The music is playing. It’s time to take that walk down the aisle. Kat Wedding Gown

 

Yes, once it got underway, it was a beautiful ceremony, and Kat was certainly a beautiful bride. It was short, sweet, and it made Jonathan reflect a bit on the wonder of it all. Amazing, really, that a few words spoken between a man and a woman could irrevocably change their lives.

Marriage is forever.

A few other thoughts flitted through his mind, too, even as he was vowing to love, honor, and cherish his bride. Thoughts about Fiona mostly.

Hmmm…maybe that’s another bad sign. But don’t all men have a few stray thoughts as they commit themselves to one woman, forsaking all others?

It was over quickly. Katherine Phillips and Jonathan Evans have tied the knot and they’ll be very happy together. Right?

Evans Wedding

Yes, of course. Love is a many-splendored thing, they say. He and Kat will have a good life. They’ll finish classes at the Academy, and then they’ll be ready to start a family. Their future looks bright and beautiful.

 

 

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Breaking Hearts

All things considered, proposing to Kat was the easy thing. Now comes the hard part. What’s the best way to tell Fiona and all the other young women in his life that he’s getting married?

Fiona is not happy about Jonathan's upcoming marriage to Kat.
Fiona is not happy about Jonathan’s upcoming marriage to Kat.

Might as well just do it and get it over with, right?

That was the best approach, he decided. For the most part, it went well…except for Fiona. In her opinion, he’s making a big mistake, one he’ll soon come to regret.

“You’ll be miserable and unhappy, Jonathan, and you’ll come running right back to me.”

Now, he’s a bit worried. What if Fiona is right?

What if he’s about to make the biggest mistake of his life?

Worse still, what if Fiona decides to cause trouble for Kat? With an anxious heart, Jonathan thinks back to a bit of poetry from English Lit 101, recalling the immortal lines William Congreve wrote:

Heav’n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn’d,
Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn’d.

Big Blue DividerWill Fiona try to stop the marriage?

Will her predictions come true?

 

 

 

 

 

“Will You Marry Me?”

One thing about Jonathan Evans…it might take him a while to make a decision but once he makes up his mind, he takes action right away. He’s had his fun and he’s ready now to make that lifelong commitment.

It’s Kat, of course. Was there ever any doubt? She captivated him from the moment they first met. It just took a little while for him to come to his senses. He knows she’s the one for him.

Kat ProposalSo, he proposed, she accepted, and the happy couple are looking forward to their wedding day. Had it been up to Jonathan, a quick trip to a justice of the peace would have been just fine. But Kat wants a big wedding.

Heavens, they’re not even married yet and already he’s having to adjust to doing things her way. Well, whatever makes her happy, right?

Of course, having a big wedding will make his mother and father very happy, too. They’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time.

Now, the chapel is reserved, invitations have been sent, and the future is about to begin.

Big Blue DividerWatch for wedding pictures!

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Time to Settle Down

Jonathan Evans has been doing a lot of thinking lately. Of course he’s having fun playing around, flirting with all the girls…and woo-hooing them, too. But the truth is, he needs to start thinking about the future.

At least, that’s what his father tells him.

Just Like Old Times
Jonathan fondly remembers family meals…and the family values on which he was raised.

He and his brother, Michael, got together with their mom and dad last week for dinner, and it was almost like old times. Of course, Michael is married now — and quite happily so — and before long Jonathan will be having nieces and nephews, and…isn’t it about time for him to settle down?

Those old times were good ones, and Jonathan was raised on old-fashioned family values. Really, what in life matters more than having a strong, supportive, loving family? He wouldn’t be where he is today without his mother, his father, and his brother. Throughout his life, they’ve encouraged him, given him opportunities to learn and grow and be himself.

Isn’t it time now for him to become a real man? Isn’t it time for him to make a few decisions, and get started on the real business of living? Simply put, it’s time to choose a wife, get married, and start raising a family of his own, carrying on the proud Evans family traditions.

Who will it be? Kat Phillips? Fiona Patterson? Hattie Mae Richards? In his heart, he already knows the answer.

Big Blue DividerWho will Jonathan choose to be his bride?

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