It’s time to recap Carmen Butler’s life since she moved to Willow Creek! She was raised in a nice family, but wanted to break out on her own to pursue her dreams of being an artist. If she fell in love and made some amazing friends and attended some kick ass parties on the way, that would make it even better.
Carmen quickly realized she was not equipped to be on her own. She couldn’t cook worth a damn.
Her food was not tasty.
She had to work her first full day after moving in, so she missed the welcome wagon in the form of Eliza and Bob Pancakes.
Luckily, she quickly got hooked up with the Upper Crusts. They were a cooking/eating/drinking club. Carmen felt like a fraud joining them when she had nothing to contribute, but she was happy to get a chance to meet Mila Munch and Hugo Villareal. The club was headed by Clara Bjergsen, who had a really lovely family. Carmen was grateful for those amazing meals and friendly faces in her early days in town.
Clara was one of Carmen’s first friends, though they never got particularly close. Clara was just really nice and really fun to be around. She made them breakfast in the park one morning, which is where Carmen met Laurel Epstein. Now Laurel was someone Carmen felt she could be great friends with. They hit it off immediately. Laurel really got her humor.
Making friends with women who were already married with kids (teenagers even) seemed like a good idea to Carmen. But there was also the draw of the fun that came from being really really single. Carmen was a bit obsessed with Windenburg when she first moved to town. She spent a fair bit of time at the many bars, cafes, etc. they had to offer. And the men, oh the men, it was a veritable buffet.
There were a lot of women to hang out with too. Carmen, being the friendly Sim that that she is, hit it off with nearly everyone.
And there was Clara, classy Clara, happily dancing along with Carmen when her jam came on.
Carmen felt it was a good night when she barely beat the sunrise home. There were a number of night when she dragged herself out of the bar, happy and tired.
Hanging at the park and meeting new people was a favorite activity of Carmen’s. Some days, there were lots of new people to meet. Other days, it was more of the same. She hung out with Laurel Epstein, Bo Blank, and her club member Hugo Villareal. Hugo was still a teen, and acted like it, but he was always so nice that they didn’t mind him hanging out.
Even better than hanging in the park with new friends, was going out dancing with new friends. Carmen happily met her Upper Crusts club at a Windenburg hot spot for an evening of dancing. Once again, no one cared that Hugo was there, this time on a school night.
Hugo made his was over to Carmen to talk about something, but she was barely paying attention because a man caught her eye. Something about a man in red cowboy boots, amiright? Please tell me I have at least one fan of How I Met Your Mother or The Good Place to enjoy the red cowboy boots joke…
Carmen met Dr. Davin Branham that night. He was new to town himself, and it seemed at first they would really hit it off.
They become fast friends.
There was something about meeting a wonderful man that made Carmen reassess how she’d been spending her first few weeks in Willow Creek. She said she’d come here to pursue her artist dreams and to fall in love. But all she’d done was party. She hadn’t saved any money, hadn’t sold a single painting, and was in no position to offer anything to someone who might want to be in a relationship with her.
She resolved to make better choices going forward, including supplementing her income until her career took off. Her first step, which seemed easy enough, was to start a garden. So when she finally dragged her butt home from the club as the sun came up, instead of going to bed, she planted a few seeds in her front yard. She figured baby steps would get her where she wanted to be.
Then she painted her first painting that was intended for sale. She didn’t have any money yet to set it up, but she knew her spare bedroom would make the perfect artists studio.
By the time the holidays rolled around, Carmen felt better about her prospects. She’d gotten a promotion and work, and her tiny front yard garden was providing her with extra income. Even though she was celebrating Kwanzaa at home by herself, she felt good about what she’d managed to accomplish so far.
After the new year, Laurel Epstein asked Carmen to join her new club. They didn’t have a specific focus like the Upper Crusts, did, but it sounded like fun. Plus, good looking men in the club provided Carmen with lots of eye candy, which she was always bad at turning down.
Carmen hit it off with Gavin Ralston, who she’d never met before that first meeting. He and his family had just moved into a brownstone in San Myshuno. Like most people, he was drawn to Carmen’s gregariousness and felt like he could really be himself around her.
He loved listening to her stories. Like the one about the amazing man she met, Dr. Davin Branham. He turned out to be noncommittal. And married. With two children and a third on the way. She ran into him one weekend at the Flea Market, and he regaled her with stories about his wonderful wife Lily, and how well his two children, Baby and Kalyn were adjusting to their new school. This was the first she heard of any family and felt quite foolish.
Because she was Carmen Butler, she found a way to look on the bright side. Her (apparently imagined) connection with Dr. Branham had given her the push she needed to make more mature decisions. She found she loved gardening. What started as a few apples and flowers had turned into a full garden. She spent as much time with her beloved plants as she used to out dancing and meeting new people all night.
Carmen was worried that she might not have as many friends if she wasn’t always out. But she was very wrong. There was always a visitor at her door. All the people she’d befriended wanted to stay her friend, even if they only got an hour of her time before she had to get back to her latest painting.
Settled into her new, slightly more responsible routine, Carmen knew there was still something missing. She wanted to find love. She had not done a good job of accomplishing that on her own, so she asked for help. Laurel happily set her up on a date, but wouldn’t give her any details.
All Carmen knew when she arrived at the restaurant was that her date was someone she already knew. They were excited about dating Carmen, and Carmen was guaranteed to have a good time with them. She wondered who it could be. Who did she already know, already have fun with, but needed to be set up on a date with her rather than just asking her out themselves?
She never would’ve guess it was Hugo Villareal. She didn’t quite understand at first. She knew he’d just aged up to Young Adult, but she’d known him as this high school kid since she arrived to town. Seeing him in this new light was a challenge.
Something about his sweet demeanor, their familiarity, and the lack of other prospects made Carmen given Hugo a chance. The date turned out to be really amazing.
Like really amazing.
Like really really amazing.
They went on a whirlwind of dates, as Sims do. One thing led to another–well you know where this is going. Carmen was soon announcing her unplanned pregnancy to Hugo (curse you Risky Woohoo via MCCC!). He was a bit dismayed at the news. His first response was, “not again.”
He told Carmen a crazy story. He and his sister Luna has pursued the same girl all through high school. Apparently, the girl was interested in both, but ultimately chose Luna because she felt Hugo had other interests. But right before her wedding, she and Hugo slept together. That indiscretion led to a pregnancy.
Luna married the woman anyway, and the three of them decided they would tell everyone that Hugo simply wanted the couple to have a child that was a blood relative to both women. The phrase they used was “turkey baster situation.” Carmen was really upset at this news, and for the first time in a long time, she struggled to find a silver lining.
Hugo proposed to her, saying that he’d loved her for a long time, they’d really connected in the last few days, and this baby must mean they were meant to be. She gently turned him down, but promised they could still see each other. She wanted them to focus on the baby, and slow things down to make sure they really were a good match. She hoped that as parents, they could both learn to act less impulsively.
Okay… so this is actually getting longer than I expected. Y’all know I freak out when things get above 1500 words. So I’m gonna stop here, but don’t worry, I already have the rest of Carmen’s recap done. It will post in a few days. You’re welcome.