Chapter 20: The Dinner Party (SDVR)

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the sixth of spring

With little more than a gruff “Hello,” Shane arrived to move around the stove and deliver the refrigerator. Grateful for the assistance, but leery of the grumpy man, Jade busied herself with cleaning the bathroom, which was desperately overdue for a face lift. Perhaps she could talk to Robin about expanding the room to make more space for her makeup and jewelry, providing a place to get ready in the morning. When noon rolled around and Shane still hadn’t finished, grumbling and griping over the directions for the oven hook-up, Jade left him in the capable company of her new watchdog, whom she had affectionately named Thor.

Her new pup was on his assigned mission, following Shane, barking for attention. Shane, of course, was annoyed, but when he didn’t think Jade was watching, he did bend down and scratch the dog behind the ears. Jade went to Pierre’s, the grocer in town, whom she had met earlier that morning to pick up groceries for the dinner party she had planned. It would be a simple meal, but it was time to invite over some neighbors to her place, even if it was a one-room shack. When she returned, she found Shane had finished setting up the refrigerator and stove, and had moved her cooler across the room to use as a stool while he watched the silly meteorologist in a cowboy hat and bold Aloha shirt.

“Thank you for your help,” Jade smiled, setting her grocery bags on the table.

Pierre had been helpful, offering to show her around the shop, which was clearly his pride and joy. She came home with the motherload of groceries at a decent price. The store, while a far walk, was worth a visit, and she would definitely return to patronize the local business, even if she wasn’t particularly fond of its owner. Thankfully, his wife Caroline interrupted their conversation when he was explaining how he helped nail every stud and laid all the floorboards by hand. Robin wasn’t the only carpenter in Stardew Valley, and Pierre was halfway decent if he said so himself, which he did, twice. Caroline welcomed Jade to the Cove and hoped she enjoyed working on the farm. She also politely redirected the conversation so Pierre would be aware that Jade really didn’t want to hear him brag about everything under the sun.

“Whatever,” Shane shoved his hands in his pockets. “I’m outta here.”

“Wait, I have simoleons for Marnie,” Jade protested as Shane brushed past her and stomped out the door, his work boots hitting against the porch like the god of thunder himself.

“You can give it to her later,” Shane grimaced. “I’m not a bank.”

“Oh, uh… okay… well, thanks,” Jade narrowed her eyes, clasping her hands and pressing her lips. “Shane, you should join us tonight for dinner?”

“I don’t think so,” Shane said, jumping off the porch without using the stairs and walking away.

Darkness settled in early in the foothills in Stardew Cove. Jade wished she had more lamps to brighten up the place, but she barely had enough for groceries. Soon, she would be making more money with bigger harvests once the weather warmed. For the first time in awhile, Jade enjoyed a lukewarm shower, picked out a cute cream blouse, green plaid shorts, added her favorite jewelry, and did her hair. She was going to have guests tonight. Her first trunk had finally arrived and she had a much larger selection of clothing, among other necessities.

Marnie was the first to arrive, shortly after dusk. Jade had just set the mood with Carnaval Beats on her mini audio blaster. The meal would be simple – sliced apples and strawberries, a fizzy fruit punch, and tuna melts, grilled on her new stovetop, making use of one of her new purchases – a set of pots and pans. The ladies talked fashion and travel as Marnie wore a Komorebian style, neutral palate dress and a pair of khaki colored slacks. Jade confessed she had never been to Mount Komorebi, but she would certainly love to see the snow-covered pines and town of a thousand leaves. Marnie shared she grew up with rather unorthodox parents who didn’t believe in traditional school and traveled around the world with their daughter in tow. Jade found this concept fascinating. She shared about her experiences at the Selvadoradan Carnaval as the world renowned event, celebrating her heritage, and introducing the Holy Week would happen next week.

Gunther arrived next, promising the ladies that Gus would be along soon. Jade stoked the fire before returning to the table. Gunther was excited to jump into the conversational cultural exchange. While his last name, Silvian, was Romalian in origin, Gunther was raised by a Highlander mother and a Hesperian father. He celebrated both Holy Week in the Jacoban and Peteran faith, though he shied away from the fanfare of parades. He did appreciate the music, and spent time in the Selvadoradan rainforests during the season with a pit-roasted pig beneath palm leaves.

“Get him to share with you about the time he swung from the tree branches after a little too much Cachaça during Holy Week,” Gus said with a laugh, shaking off the rain drops from his coat.

“Gus, welcome!” Jade smiled enthusiastically.

“Oh heavens no,” Gunther lifted a hand to his face to hide his eyes. “Please no.”

“I’m only teasing a little, my love, but just because you’re so fun to tease,” Gus leaned over and planted a kiss on his boyfriend’s cheek before leaving for the restroom to wash his hands.

“Can’t be as humiliating as the time I rode naked on a bull in Amurak,” Marnie shared.

Jade gasped. “No.”

“Really? Why?” Gunther appeared very uncomfortable.

“Because it was liberating…” Marnie shared, and placed her thumbs next to her head and waved her index fingers. “I sure mooooned the crowd!”

“Oh,” Jade riled with laughter.

Gunther once again tipped his head. Gus let out a deep-bellied laugh as he emerged from the bathroom.

“You surprise me sometimes, Marnie,” Gus said.

“Maybe I am a little mooooon-brained,” Marnie shrugged with a smirk. “It was the sixties. Everyone did wild things.”

“A little too wild if you ask me,” Gunther winced, lifting his glass. “Got anything stronger?”

“For you, yes,” Gus replied, and pulled a flask out of his pocket, dropping a splash of a clear potent liquor into Gunther’s punch. “No offense, Jade.”

“None taken,” she grinned. “Fill me up.”

“Even when I’m not at the saloon, I’m working,” Gus shook his head.

“And whose fault is that darling?” Gunther nudged his partner.

“I’ll take a little,” Marnie said, pushing her glass toward Gus. “Or a lot.”

Everyone laughed. It was a jovial party. Jade listened as Gunther finally opened up and shared details about swinging from a tree after too many spirits and playing a Charango, a five-stringed guitar made from an armadillo shell. He felt awful about the armadillo until his rainforest guide explained the creature had bit three children in the village. Then he used his classical guitar skills and put his days in the theater and ballet to test as he hung upside down on the branch of a palm and sang a very off-key, drunken rendition of Livin’ La Vida Loca. Jade enjoyed getting to know her neighbors, and but she was grateful she did not have indiscriminate youthful tales to share.

“You’re still young, chica,” Gus grinned.

“Oh no, I like to think I got through my twenties unscathed, without any revelry,” Jade shook her head.

“But that is part of life,” Marnie smiled. “Being ridiculous and letting loose.”

“I’d like to keep my clothes on,” Jade said. “And preferably not swing from trees,” she coughed. “Sorry. I’m not trying to sound judgmental.”

“You aren’t,” Gus winked.

“We’re an easygoing crowd,” Marnie assured.

“And a forgiving one,” Gunther added, patting Jade’s hand. “Thank you for dinner. This was great.”

“I’m glad to see the stove worked out,” Gus nodded.

“Yes, Shane did a good job hooking everything up today,” Jade replied. “I only wish he had joined us for dinner. Thank you for the chairs, Marnie.”

“Anytime, honey,” Marnie said. “And don’t you worry about Shane. He’ll warm up to you eventually. I think he’s pulling a double shift tonight.”

“Overnight?” Jade’s eyes widened. “And he was at my place before noon?”

“He can’t say no to his auntie,” Marnie said, her eyes twinkling.


Author Notes: Thank you for reading. I enjoyed writing this dinner party chapter. The Sims had such fun in the game, laughing, joking, being mischievous. If you’re curious about my worldbuilding, here’s the shorthand version: Hesperia/Hesperian is my Simworld version of Spain located in the Sim Union in the Western hemisphere. Highland/Highlander is my Simworld of Scotland/Ireland, located to the north, also in the Sim Union. Amaruk is a country located on the northern coast of the continent of Vendia and would be comparable to Morocco. Jacoban and Peteran are religions in Sims Medieval, and I’ve developed them a bit further in my Simworld (parallels to Catholicism and Protestantism). Cachaça is You can learn more about Simterra here and here on my Simterra Tales blog, where I share articles about my worldbuilding.

2 thoughts on “Chapter 20: The Dinner Party (SDVR)

    cathytea said:
    March 28, 2022 at 10:53 am

    I love this chapter, especially the first part where she’s getting things set up and getting ready! This story means so much to me right now.

    Liked by 1 person

      livinasimminlife responded:
      March 28, 2022 at 11:07 am

      Thank you. I enjoyed this chapter too. I’ve really love writing this story. I’m taking a little break from my M-F schedule but I’ll be continuing this story soon. It’s a busy upcoming month for me and I’m moving around a bit. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Like

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