Saturday, July 13, 2013

Chapter 2.30-Charitable Endeavor

          Bright and early that Saturday morning his family had dutifully filed into Layla’s new home for a party. Well, bright might not quite describe it. Lightning occasionally flashed throwing strange shadows into the corners as thunder rolled round the high rocky hills near constantly. The rain was actually coming down hard enough that it was hard to hear over its hammering of the roof and windows. Actually, that was kind of how it had been in the house the entire week between Layla and Ignacio. He may not have realized it, but he hadn't even whistled as he habitually did.
          At least the guests didn’t appear to notice anything different. His dad standing in front of him enthusiastically waving a noisemaker that had been dug up from some drawer.

          Certainly Nalleli and her husband Shad wouldn’t know there was anything wrong. Ignacio hardly saw the pair though. They were blocking one of the final corners left in the house that didn’t have gems or flowers or some other tchotchke in over abundance. Layla had been out much more than usual, consequently finding more than normal that shined or sparkled or fluttered for her to fill the blanks of her home with.

          The couple seemingly most uneasy were Raul and his new wife Lottie. Admittedly, Lottie was a little strange anyway and you could never be quite sure what she was thinking or might do next. That put others on their guard around her and she absolutely knew it. Raul would forever be oblivious to that. That might be a good thing though.

          Layla’s pasted smile fooled all of them. All but Ignacio at least. But she deserved to be uncomfortable. It was her idea to get this many people over. It was her idea to meet the members of his family she had not yet greeted. It was even her idea to invite Melly to see Tiburcia grow up. She was still in agonies that Melly might actually appear. Ignacio was furious she had thought such a move necessary.
This birthday could mark a potential change in the custody arrangement and he was prepared to do anything to shield his little girl from her mother’s influence. If Melly wanted a birthday party for his Tibi, she could throw her own party and Ignacio would bring Tibi. But that didn’t seem to be happening either. Thankfully.

          Leaning over to help Tibi blow her candles out, (blowing a generous portion of spittle on the icing as she did so) Ignacio decided to just be content and accept how things were. Layla had invited his daughters mother, she hadn’t shown up yet and probably wouldn’t. With the candles blown out at least he could focus on what really mattered right then, his daughter.

          The leap of faith.

          Finding your feet after age up always takes a wobbly second. Getting your eyes uncrossed takes a second more.

          But here she is, in all her childhood glory. Tiburcia Guerra, standing ready and able and waiting for her chance to take over the world!

          After she’s had cake, gotta have cake. Tiburcia grins as the adults begin to swarm around the table. Birthday girl privilege. She gets first slice, and she doesn’t have to deal with the jostling mess that’s about to occur. Tiburcia Guerra: taking over the adults’ world one cake slice at a time.

          “Your new home is lovely dear,” Sabria said as she joined Layla and her granddaughter at the table. “It’s nice to have so much room for things like this. Our home would be a little cramped if we all tried to have a birthday party there.”
          Layla smiled at Sabria, afraid to speak lest voice would tremble betraying her nerves. There were still too many people in her home in her opinion. And what if Ignacio was still upset that she had invited his family over? That she had invited Melly over?

          And as Layla’s nerves grew from a feeling of claustrophobia and regret, Ignacio was becoming more calm. So far, Lottie had behaved, Raul was being polite, his dad wasn’t attempting to flirt with anyone, Layla seemed alright, and Tibi was happy. The more time that passed, the less he was afraid Melly would show up either. The effect was as calming as a day spent fishing for him.


          Tibi was the first to finish her cake, Layla assured her she’d take care of her plate if she wanted to go and play and she scampered off only to run straight into her Aunt Lottie.
          “Hey kid,” she said in a baby voice. “I hear today is your birthday!”
          “Yeah,” Tibi said warily. “We just finished eating the birthday cake. You were here when I blew out the candles.”
          “So then it must be your birthday!”
          Tibi frowned at her before walking off. Sabria, watching from the corner had to stifle a laugh. Poor Lottie. Bested by a 5 year old.

          The adults left around the table had begun to talk amongst themselves now that Tibi was gone. The family had still not gotten used to having a child in their midst and they were all unsure what exactly to talk about in front of the little girl. It had been easier when they knew she didn’t understand and wouldn’t repeat their words.
          However, the conversation quickly left two of the group behind when Raul and Ignacio started talking about the military occupation of some long distant foreign country. Layla had no idea what was going on in the news. Shad couldn’t believe no one found his attempt to discuss the latest Sim Street Journal report on the declining literary tastes of Sim Nation, or the newest Simthiopian roast offered at the coffeehouse interesting. It interested him at least.

          Finally deciding that taking care of the dirty dishes might ease her anxiety Layla rose. Taking her cue, Ignacio and Raul also rose. Shad, however, was jamming to his own head beats and missed out on the general breaking up of those left at the table.

          Until Layla spotted Lottie doing this and decided the dishes must be cleaned up very quickly so she could check on all the gems in the house, just in case.
          “Grandma,” Tibi asked. “Why does everyone act like they don’t know that today is my birthday?”
          “Oh my goodness! Is today your birthday?”
          “Of course it is! You were here when I blew out the candles, too! Why is everyone acting so surprised that it’s my birthday?”

          Nalleli, thankfully, comes to Layla’s rescue with Lottie just as she begins to sing the latest hit pop song in an operatic voice that echoes off the walls.
          “Dear PlumbBob, Lottie,” Nalleli asked, coming out of the kitchen to try and steer Lottie into a slightly saner vein. “What exactly were you sniffing before you came over?”
          “The flowers beneath your mothers window?”
          “Oh my gracious! You did not! Those are- You’re not- It’s not- That would do it. Come on, you need some nice fresh oxygen to get to your brain for a little while.”

          “I thought this was a charitable endeavor,” Ignacio began the moment Shad went off to assist Nalleli. “I know mom and dad did not buy that jacket. Or those bowling shoes you are wearing.”
          “They didn’t buy them,” Raul answered flatly. “And neither did I for that matter, Lottie purchased them for me.”
          “Explains the bowling shoes at least-”
          “-I make a meager profit only,” Raul interrupted. “Same as you. And don't knock the shoes. ”

          “Where did Lottie get the money? She is the one helping Matthew organize the shipments so I know she should be making no more than we are also,” Ignacio was not satisfied with his brother’s answer.
          “Lottie has a job on the side,” Raul was barely able to conceal his impatience this time. “As does everyone else but me. She has her own money, and if she’s willing to buy me clothes, alright. How’s fishing been? Catch anything good lately?”

          “How’ve you been?” Sabria asked after Layla had put away the small table the cake had been on. “I’ve been worried about you. With your mother and Aunt passing so closely together and the new house I’m sure you’ve been really stressed.”
          “I’m fine,” Layla lied. “Really, everything is going great right now.”
          “I’m a better lie detector than the one at the police station, Layla,” Sabria said. “Why aren’t you slowing down? You need to deal with your grief.”


          “I’m fine, Mom’s gone, Aunt Estella is gone. That’s all. Life still goes on,” Layla genuinely felt alright, that much was true. There was still a niggling little thought that she had shut up her emotions in a little box and ignored it to be dealt with later when the time was better, but everyone grieves differently don’t they?
          “Layla,” Sabria plead. “Please, if not for your sake, for my son’s and granddaughter’s sakes. Take some time off. Let your mind actually work. You’re not weak for grieving.”

          “Layla, I know you are lying to me,” Sabria was genuinely concerned and was going to do her best to get Layla to listen to her. “And I know what could happen if you don’t deal with this now. Please.”
          Putting on an expression she hoped read as thoughtful she nodded solemnly. Maybe that’s what Sabria needed to see.

          Trying to look cheerful, Sabria’s heart broke a little. Layla had no idea what was coming and to warn her might only make the path more difficult.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

          So that age up for Tibi took two very long takes. The first time I actually threw a party, (because I had some type of temporary insanity apparently) and it was a disaster. Dis-Ass-Ter. First of all, just to make my life really fun, Galen decided to attend. (I portered him over just to see what he would do in AP. Nothing it seems. I feel really bad about it now. He’s yet another single male in the community and doesn’t seem to do anything other than work) Then so did half the rest of the town. Then half of them had to go to work. The remaining half then decided to rake the lot (that’s not a complaint, simply an observation) When Ignacio brought Tibi to the cake only Layla and Sabria cheered. When Ignacio put her down to age up, she got up and walked off. In the end, even the save corrupted on me. So this was a much better controlled take two of all of that. I have no idea what Lottie (nee Riffin)’s traits are either to get her to do half of what she did. She’s sure amusing to me though. One of these days I’ll remember to grab Tibi’s traits, write them down and post them. One of these days...

          A couple of outtakes are up under the tab up top. They made me giggle at least, but they're not the shots of the first party that gave me such fits. Those got deleted whilst I finger gunned them. BOOM!


  1. Layla attempting to be sociable and meet people!? Wow. That's new!
    Glad everyone important could be there for Tibi, but I still don't know what tchocktes (or whatever) is!

    I wonder what this thing is that Sabris knows but Layla doesnt?! How long do you think it will be before we find out!!

    AND We need to know what's going on with Iggy and Raul! Please? Now?

    (I totally somehow forgot to post this. Bit absent minded...)

    1. She's trying to suck up and show the world that nothing is wrong. That's why it's new.
      Lol! Tchotchkes are knick knacks. Useless decorative items, generally small. Layla's gems and metals and bugs that she collects are her knick knacks.

      Um.... *counts on fingers... Three chapters? no... not three. 5? Hang on. You'd think counting on one hand wouldn't be this complicated! Uuuuh... 6. Perhaps that was why it was so hard. I don't have that many fingers on one hand. O_o. Oooooh it's going to be a long day isn't it? Ha!

      And on that one it'll be a bit longer. But you'll find out! Really.

      Lol. That's ok. Look at me. I just forgot how many fingers I have on one hand. lol

  2. Oooff! Ignacio, that's just not nice, thinking Layla deserves to be uncomfortable. Especially when you know yourself that you aren't telling her the whole truth, and you're just mad that she got mad because she knows that!

    Interesting, though, how he worried about others realizing there was something amiss between them. Is that merely for the sake of appearances, or because it would hurt him in some way if others knew there was a schism between them right now? Maybe because he secretly wants things to be ok?

    Really, he ought to be grateful that Layla wants to include his family for Tibi's birthday. It was a nice gesture on Layla's part, knowing how she doesn't like being around a lot of people (something I very much relate to Layla on).

    Changes in the custody arrangement? :-/

    LOL, it's so funny how their eyes are always crossed when they first age up!

    HAHA! Just what does Sabria have growing under her window?

    1. It's because he really does want things to be okay and kind of knows he's being as irrational as she is. That's why. It's Layla's reason for a party also. "Look how normal things are! It's all wonderful and hunky dory!"

      Layla's gesture was indeed nice, but it's a bit false and was mostly because she thought it would make things better faster. I think he would have been more grateful had they not been snipping and sniping at each other before hand though. He's really just looking for an excuse to not be the first one to make a move toward reconciliation.

      He'd mentioned before that the custody arrangement would be revisited when Tibi became a child.

      I had to get that crossed-eye pic just for that. I love that quirk!

      I have no idea. Ha! I just needed a better way to explain why Lottie was acting as she was. She pulled three trait specific idles back to back standing there. She did the evil one, the insane one, and then she did that last one that I have no idea what trait it's for. She kind of strikes me as the type to go sniffing fun things any way, so why not? lol

  3. But, what is coming?!? Why would you leave us with that?

    Parties are always a hit and miss. I always throw them, because I feel bad about not acknowledging birthdays but I pretty much fake what goes on since, half the time, the guests never do what you want them to do. Like Delilah dancing with Miles...totally unscripted (as was Neal and Evangeline honestly). At least the game doesn't recognize either dancing or even slow dancing as a romantic interaction.

    Layla is doing a lot of faking it, all over the place and I don't think she's nearly as good at it as she thinks she is.

    1. You'll have to see now won't you??? *shifty eyes. Mwuuuahahahahaha! It's coming. I'm working hard on it right now so it's not too far off. This actually goes back to the first time Sabria met Layla. Just to tease you more.

      Lol. No one danced this time. At the first (disastrous) one most of the party started off dancing until * went and decided to divorce # right in the middle. That was right about when Galen showed up. Oh yeah, a marriage break-up happened at the first one too... And yeah, that's also why I throw them. Birthdays are tough to make new each time without the party and all the randomness that occurs during them.

      Lots of fake! You're exactly right. And no, there's no way she's actually fooling anyone.

  4. Parties are such hell! BTW, there's a mod at Sims Asylum that makes leaves not collect on the ground, it has become indispensable to me, because of guests who insist on raking.

    Tiburcia looks just like her father! I love the way she's dressed, too.

    WHAT DOES SABRIA KNOW??!! Answer nao plz!
    And can I haz what she's growing in her window box?

    1. *gasp! I must haZ!!! Retuner isn't working for me (at all) so leaves are the current bane of my existence. THANK YOU!!!

      She does look a lot like Iggy. Though there's something she got from her mom. I can't quite remember what. Either her jaw or her nose... I'll have to peek again when I'm next in game.

      Lol! Just a few more chapters! Really! We'll all know that part then. Well, I'll show it. I'll still probably have to get her to talk about it when it's all said and done to clarify, but it's coming! Though this goes back to one of the things she said when she first met Layla. So this has been coming down the pipe for a long time.

      Ha! I want what she's growing too! I've never had a sim pull so many random idles out of thin air like that before. It was great (confusing) fun to watch her though.

  5. Parties are the worst--I don't think I've hosted a party in my game since I first got Generations, when I had a bachelorette party. Even though the guests got hammered (by sims terms) and danced and all that, they still complained.

    Good for Layla for being sociable and trying to include others, but I think she has a lot more to do. Tibi is adorable, BTW.

    1. I've never been able to get a 'good' party rating for bachelor bachelorette parties, even with the dancer sticking around because the 'party looks like fun.' I don't blame you on not hosting them!

      She has a long way to go toward getting her life to a point where including others is a good idea.

      Thank you! I think she's a cutie too!

  6. Oh my, I'm getting so curious about what Ignacio and Raul are up to and what Sabria knows! I agree that it was wrong of Ignacio to be happy that Layla's uncomfortable - she's doing something that makes her feel uncomfortable for the sake of his daughter!

    1. I'm glad you're getting curious though. You're supposed to be. Though I didn't really intend to start putting in Ignacio and Raul's... interactions until later they really opened the door and why not. As for what Sabria knows, we should see more of it soon.

      Ignacio was doing his best to stay upset at Layla for whatever reason he could find so he wouldn't be the first one to approach her to heal the rift. He knows it was wrong, he knows it was unjust even. He just didn't want to be the first one to act like a grown up this time. And he really was nervous about Melly possibly showing up and his nerves showed as a self-righteous anger more than anything else. Still doesn't make it right... ;)

  7. I never heard the word Tchotchkes before---how interesting---you learn something new every day, lol Unlikely I'll remember the word though, because I have a terrible memory, lol

    Tibi is so cute! I love her pigtails, and she's wearing lots of purple! I love purple!

    Sabria's words sounded a little ominous, it has me a little worried for Layla, who is obviously not dealing very well with her grief.

    1. lol. Welcome to the 'If my memory serves correct... oh wait. What was I talking about?" club! Questions welcome, if we can remember the answer.

      lol. It's Lou's favorite color and I had lots of fun getting that put together. Lou says Tibi is a princess. Ha!

      She really isn't. And that'll prove problematic moving forward. Just because something isn't nice or is unpleasant isn't a reason to just shove it aside. That'll come back to haunt her sooner than she thinks.

  8. Yeah. Lots not to trust in this chapter, and I'm worrying about whatever it is that Sabria's worrying about. Lol on Lottie. Tibi's turning out cute. I lol'ed when you said you must be crazy to throw a party. I keep wondering why I do that to myself too. I'm just on the cusp of a 'party to remember' coupled with 'partier' (at least they're compatible!), and I'm dreading that. Everyone was raking....LMBO!

    1. Lots not to trust for sure! Sabria really has a way of making everyone worry for some reason. lol.

      Yay! Another simmer who throws sim parties even knowing they're going to be a disaster! Oooof! Ouchie! That roll would have taken my breath away!

      Yes! They all decided to clean the yard for me. xD Since then I make sure to delete any leaves on the lot before party guests arrive. lol

  9. I throw way too many sims parties... I have to admit, I kind of like the craziness that always ensues! You managed to make all your guests behave so nicely in the end - all staying inside and chatting :)

    Argh, it's so frustrating to see Iggy and Layla like this! But from what you hinted, I'm afraid it's not going to get better anytime soon...

    1. I think I ended up adding them to the household in a 'shooting' save to get them all to behave. lol. I love seeing all your sim parties! They look fun and feel real.

      Layla and Iggy need to work on their communication before anything can get better.