Dee Ottomas is 33; Roman Bonacorrd is 31; Sharla Ruben is 49; Adam Centowski is 33
Previous update here
Moving house was one of the most annoying things a person could have to do. Dee was sure of that.
The hardest part wasn't the packing, though. It wasn't the fact that you had to load up every damn thing you owned and take it somewhere else. It wasn't that you had to then unpack it all again and organize things that weren't even disorganized before. It wasn't even the battle to arrange your furniture in as satisfactory way in a place that was probably a completely different size and layout to the old one. No, the worst part of moving, was actually finding the new place to begin with.
She should, know, she decided. She'd had more than enough experience of it lately. First there was her parents. It was getting more and more difficult for them to maintain their old house out in Bluewater village, but somehow the most difficult part of all, was finding a new place that suited them. They finally settled on a little house in the new gated retirement community in Richmond.
It had turned out even better than Dee expected - a smaller house, with all the maintenance and upkeep taken care of by the owners of the community. They'd even take care of the garden... although Dee's father wasn't having any of that in his yard.
He wouldn't have moved at all if there hadn't been room for him to plant some vegetables, and even a couple of fruit trees already growing behind the house.
Inside, the country-style kitchen felt like home, and although it was small, there was enough room for their furniture and the like.
There was even a recreation centre, with regular events for the residents of the community, or just to use as a place to hang out with your neighbours.
It was new and modern, but it felt cosy and comfortable and homely, and Dee was more than a little pleased with herself for convincing them to move in.
If only her own house hunting could go as smoothly.
There was no escaping the fact that she and Roman were going to have to move. Their apartment simply wouldn't be big enough, once the baby came, and finding a new place that was suitable was turning into a nightmare. She'd hoped that they would have found something by the time Dayle came back from a week with her father... but now Dee was about to get the train into the city to bring her back and they were, it seemed, further from finding something than they had ever been.
Dee studied the timetables... if she got the next train, she'd have time to visit her sister before she went to get Dayle.
Sharla had needed to move recently, too, following the dissolution of her marriage to Joshua. Initially, Dee had been concerned about how well her sister would cope alone with a young child, but she was turning into a surprisingly attentive mother, now that she had only Shane to focus on.
Moving into the city had been a good idea, Dee thought. Richmond was small, everyone knew her there, and everyone knew about Joshua, and Melissa, and the events that had bought about the end of Sharla's marriage. The city would at least give her some degree of anonymity.
The downside of that decision was the higher property costs. Sharla may have been expecting a good settlement from Joshua, but a considerable amount of his money was being eaten up on legal fees. It didn't take long to see that if Sharla wanted anything like the kind of upmarket place that she'd become used to, she was going to have to make some compromises.
In the end, she'd bought a small two-bedroom apartment in Shady Grove, an upmarket suburb of the city. She'd also had to compromise a bit when furnishing it. She might not have the latest designer brands, but it was still better quality than anything Dee had ever owned, and it looked more homely than her place in Richmond, too. At least, Dee thought it did.
"It'll do, for now," Sharla said. "It won't be forever, anyway."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I don't plan to spend the rest of my life alone, you know.... what, don't look at me like that!"
"But... given what's happened, do you really think its a good idea to think about future partners in terms of how they can improve your lifestyle? I mean, look where that's got you so far."
"I never said it was the first consideration. In any case, you can't blame me for wanting to improve myself..."
"You went from being married to an alcoholic, to being married to a pedophile. That's not improving."
"He wasn't a pedophile. He was interested in teenage girls, technically that's not - "
"Sharla, this isn't about correct grammar! You're missing the point!"
"Look, you've just been enormously betrayed by your ex , you've pretty much destroyed your relationship with both your daughters...
...you've got a young child to look after, you haven't worked in years and some time soon you're going to have to get at least a part time job. I just think this isn't the right time to be thinking about finding another man on top of all that."
From Sharla's place, Dee took the subway to the other side of the city, where Dayle's father Adam lived with his wife Michelle.
She always felt a little nervous, after Dayle stayed with her father. Dayle always loved the visits, and that was no surprise - not with a father and stepmother who made music and knew famous people and took her to concerts and recording studios, or just let her stay up really late listening to them play in their apartment, every night.
Dee couldn't help but be afraid that Dayle would like it a little too much.
It was crazy, Dee told herself, as she watched her train pull into the platform.
Even if Dayle did decide that she wanted to live with her father again... it wouldn't be anything Dee wasn't used to already. Dayle had lived with Adam for most of her life, visiting Dee often but always going home to her father. It was only in the last few years, when Adam and Michelle had been touring as the opening act for a successful local band, that Dayle had come to live with her mother.
They were back in the city now, working as studio musicians and not planning to leave again, at least not in the near future. There was no reason that Dayle couldn't go back to them, if she wanted. And really, there was no reason for Dee to be bothered by this, given that she'd been happy with that arrangement for most of her daughter's life.
Yet, somehow, she was.
"Dayle's still out shopping with Michelle," Adam said, gesturing for her to come in. "They shouldn't be too far away."
"How was the week?"
"It was good, we had fun," Adam said. "I wanted to ask you, who is Harry?"
"Harry Reamon?" Dee asked.
"Yeah, I think that's his name... am I right in thinking that our daughter has her first crush?"
Dee sighed. "Probably, although I wish she didn't. Or not on him, anyway."
"Why? What's wrong with him?"
"Not him, exactly, but his brother got his teenage girl pregnant."
"Dayle mentioned a baby in their house... but aren't the brother and his girlfriend in college?"
"She was still in high school when it happened. And if that's what this kid's family is like, then - "
"Wait, there's a lot of difference between a couple who are almost college age, and a pair of twelve year olds hanging out together."
"Maybe... " Dee said, getting up.
"Come on, what's really wrong?" Adam asked, following her.
"What do you mean?"
"Something else is bothering you, right? Not just Dayle and some kid she's spending time with... "
"What is it then?"
"Just this moving business... and Roman... and trying to find a place... we had an argument..."
All she'd done was try to make Roman see that they weren't going to find the kind of apartment they needed in Richmond.
"We're going to need four or five bedrooms, that's the problem," she'd told him, after a morning of fruitless searching. "There are no apartments around here that big. We're going to have to start looking at houses instead."
"Houses?" Roman asked. "You mean, like family places, with yards and fences and stuff?"
"Yeah... houses have those things..."
"Can't the baby just sleep in the hallway? I mean, that's what Lizzie does."
"My baby is not sleeping in the hallway," said Dee. "And nor should Lizzie, now that she's older."
"Well, then, can't Lizzie and the baby share?" he asked. "Lizzie's not there all the time anyway."
"I'd rather avoid that if I can, "Dee said. "When Lizzie is there, no one will get any sleep. As soon as one of them wakes up, they both wake up."
"Well, Lizzie and Dayle, then?"
"Dayle's moody enough lately. Imagine her with a baby waking her up half the night." She paused for a moment. "There is one thing we could do," she said. "We could share a bedroom. I mean, we sleep together half the time anyway..."
"But... we... what if one of us wants other company or something?"
"Roman, when was the last time one of us brought anyone home? If we've had other company, its been away from the apartment." If she were completely honest, Dee would have told him that it had been a very long time since she'd had 'company' other than him. Roman, on the other hand...
"I still don't... I can't... I need my own space..."
"You don't want a house, but you don't want me in your space..."
"That's not what I said!"
"Isn't it? You can have all the space you want. Don't even bother coming into my bedroom tonight!" She got up to leave.
"You couldn't do that if we shared a room!" he called after her.
"Yes I could," she called back from halfway up the stairs. "You'd be sleeping on the sofa!"
Adam was laughing when she finished telling him about the argument.
"It's not funny!" she said.
"Yes, it is! You and Roman remind me of us... "
"I don't know what you mean..."
"Come on, why did we split up? And why did Dayle live with me all those years?"
"I thought you were ok with that."
"I was, I still am... my point is, a few years ago, you were just like Roman. So you've changed, you've settled down a bit... but you can't blame him if he hasn't caught up with you yet."
Adam had a point, Dee had to admit. Taking that into account made the house hunting so much harder, but she had finally found the perfect home. Not an apartment, but a house...
The living area was a bit smaller than what they were used to, but that was a fair enough trade-off to get enough bedrooms for everyone.
More importantly, there was a large basement area, with its own entrance and bathroom...
"It's your space," she told Roman. "Set it up like your own apartment, and you can have as much or as little to do with the rest of us as you want."
"You mean you won't come down here?"
"Only if you invite me," she said.
"I've got the big tv... I've got the games machine... of course I'm going to invite you!"
"Ok," she said, sitting down and picking up the controller.
"What are you doing?" He sat down next to her.
"Well, you said you were only going to invite me down for the games machine..."
"I didn't say only the games machine...
So, yeah, this took a while.
I was away from simming for a while, for various reasons. Then, pretty much the day I got back into the game, I broke my hood. Really, I couldn't even blame a glitch this time - the stupid was all mine. Fortunately I had a recent backup, and thanks to advice from simming friends I was even able to get back most of the lots I'd decorated since the backup - except for apartments, which meant I had to redecorate both the Ottomas parents' place and Adam's place, since I hadn't taken all the pictures I needed from them for the update.
All done now. Hood back to normal. Whew!
The difficulty Dee had finding a place was actually the same difficulty I had finding one for them in-game. All of the apartment building I could find in the right style for Richmond, with enough bedrooms, had tiny rooms that wouldn't work for picture-taking. Dee is showing her Family secondary aspiration, but I couldn't see someone like Roman being all that comfortable with something as domestic as a house. The basement 'studio' seemed like a good compromise.
Who's who... Dayle's father, Adam Centowski, is the son of Douglas, who you met briefly here, so he's a nephew of Kyle, James and their siblings. Adam's younger sister is Angel Go's friend Marie. His wife Michelle is the sister of Heather Beare, Kevin's second wife. Dayle's friend/crush Harry Reamon is the step-brother of Matthew Langerek,so the pregnant girlfriend was Sam Green.
The other hold-up, of course, is the fact that this update is 75% lot update - of several lots! Must try to not visit 20 places in one update...
If you're wondering why Dee has an Asian style bedroom... she was an autonomous customer on my second hand shop lot, and she bought about four Asian themed things, so I figured this was a style she liked :)
Part 2 isn't going to be about these guys, it just continues the theme of people moving (there have been a few lately). Hopefully it won't take as long to produce as this one did!