Gavin Ralston felt both perfectly at home and like a fish out of water. Ever since he moved to San Myshuno with his grandparents, Cristian and Kenya, he was met by sights both amazingly familiar and bewilderingly different.
On the one hand, living in a brownstone in the city saw him surrounded by more black and brown faces than you tended to see in other parts of the world. On the other hand, no one else seemed to have an accent that sounded like the one he was used to hearing growing up. He was the first in his family to be born and raised not on the island of his family’s origin. His accent was just like that of any mainland Sim, and it didn’t help his relationship with his parents that sometimes he preferred it that way.
Gavin was proud of his family’s culture, but he was happy for the opportunity to share his culture with others while taking in what they had to share as well.
Gavin didn’t like to speak of his parents, and because of his strong personality, most new Sims he met accepted that without questions. After they met his amazing grandparents, they usually forgot to think about it further, just how Gavin liked it.
Meeting new people was something Gavin loved to do. It served him well in his career. He’d always been interested in politics, but had no way to do that in his last home. But coming into San Myshuno as a Young Adult with big ideas, it was easy. He picked a cause (Simoleons for Everyone) and jumped right in.
His grandfather Cristian was able to easily find a job in the culinary career. In a city like San Myshuno, they were happy to have his experience as well as his culinary point of view. His grandmother Kenya found a job as a critic. They wouldn’t joke about it in front of her, but Cristian and Gavin chuckled to themselves that criticizing strangers was a perfect fit for her as an elder career. Plus she was surprisingly good on the computer, so the job was a great fit.
One of the first people Gavin met that he really hit it off with was Carmen Butler. They had fun at karaoke one random night and had stayed friends ever since.
It was Carmen who recommended him for membership in a new club created by a woman named Laurel Epstein. Laurel, like him, had a strong personality. They didn’t make fast friends, but they liked each other well enough. He gladly joined the club and was looking forward to their first club hang which was to happen this weekend at Laurel’s house.
It would’ve happened sooner, but Laurel wanted to wait until after her baby was born. Gavin couldn’t believe she had four children and still wanted more. He wasn’t even sure yet if he wanted kids, like ever.
Gavin had to manually push his mouth closed the first time he saw the Epsteins’ home. Being such a city boy, he wasn’t prepared for how much space and how much house you could get living out in the desert.
He went inside and set about meeting the rest of the members of the club, as well as the Epstein family… and their butler.
Gavin: These people have a butler?!?! How in the world did Carmen end up friends with these rich white folk? She seems so different from them.
“I’m so happy you made it! There isn’t anything really specific our club is supposed to do, I was just hoping we could all sit and chat and get to know each other,” said Laurel.
“I think that’s a great idea,” added Carmen. “Let’s all sit in the living room and share a story about ourselves or our family or our career, or whatever you want to share!”
“Conversing is the best way to get to know Sims, I have found,” said Bo Blank. “Much better than mind reading.”
Gavin: Okay… he has a weird sense of humor, I think I like it…
“Say what? Oh yeah, let’s get to know each other,” said Luca Holloway, pulling himself away from appraising a painting in the corner of the room.
Gavin: He certainly doesn’t strike me as someone who loves art. But I suppose you don’t have to wear a shirt to be an art critic.
“I’ll go first,” said Laurel. “The whole point is to share who we are, exactly as we are, with as much of our culture thrown in. So I’d like to talk about renovating our house to make room for the new baby in time for Purim.”
Everyone in the room felt like they were going to learn a lot. Laurel’s family is Jewish and they try to observe all the major holidays, and some of the minor ones. Also, Laurel’s unexpected inheritance meant that she was far wealthier than everyone else in the room. No one else had renovated their home beyond changing furniture and paint colors.
Laurel spoke of Queen Esther saving the Jewish people from an evil plot. Every year, there was a huge celebration to commemorate it. Kurt was going to take off work, and the kids weren’t going to school, and the family was going to have a huge feast.
Unlike a lot of major Jewish holidays, observing Purim doesn’t mean one must stop working, but the preparation for the celebration took a lot of time. Laurel didn’t want to spend all her time in Build mode working on a nursery and relocating her beloved home gym, when she could be baking tri-corner cookies.
Laurel showed everyone before and after photos of the room that used to be the gym that was now a nursery for baby Emilie, as well as her almost perfect recreation of the gym, now down in the basement. She also promised to send everyone a batch of the cookies to try.
“Alright, who’s next?” asked Laurel. “Who wants to share a story with the group about themselves?”
Everyone in the room looked at each other, waiting to see who would volunteer.