Carrot Egnaro had done more than a few stupid things in his life, but he was pretty sure falling for Carmen Speck-Trumm was the stupidest. Sure, it might not have looked dumb at first - he didn't know she was serious with that other guy (how could he know? She was flirting with him while she was still on her date, after all), and she seemed pretty into him. But if getting involved with her in the first place was only stupid in hindsight, sticking around like a lovesick puppy even after she got engaged, got married, popped out one kid he was sure was his and a few he knew weren't, those were all stupid even at the time.
He might not have looked it, but Carrot was a classic family Sim, and all he was after was a wife and family. What he got was a golddigger, a kid he was pretty sure was his and two others he was only a little less sure about, and absolutely nothing he could do about that. So he packed up and moved to a little coastal town he'd heard about, where real estate was ludicrously cheap and there was no Carmen Speck-Trumm.
Carrot bought a cozy little house on the shore, just big enough for the family he dreamed of, and started dating again. And when he met Leslie de Muse, that was it for any pining over Carmen.
Of course, only a week after he and Leslie were married (and Carrot took her last name, far less clumsy than his own), he found out Carmen - and the rest of her family, including the kids he thought were his - had also moved to Elsewhere. He avoided her at first, but when he eventually ran into her - inevitable, really, in such a tiny neighborhood - at the grocery store, Leslie was pregnant with their first child, and Carrot found he didn't feel even a hint of a spark for his old flame. They went out for coffee, and Carmen told him the truth about Oren, Mallory, and Clementine, leaving it up to him whether to tell the kids. They promised to keep in touch...and meant it.
Leslie and Carrot had two kids, Charles:
and Leanna, the day before Charles' child-teenage birthday:
Leslie was a businesswoman, perfectly happy as she moved up the corporate ladder, but Carrot simply drifted from job to job, dissatisfied and unfulfilled, until Leslie, fed up with his moping, suggested he dip into their savings and do something he actually enjoyed.
So he bought a little shop downtown, an old flower shop that had been closed for years.
The whole family helps out there, although Leslie only has an hour or two on weekends to spare. Charles is all grown up now and moved out, the principal of the local high school, but he stops by every now and then.
Leanna's an adult, too, but since both Carrot and Leslie are elders, she lives at home with them. She shares her father's passion for flower-arranging, and is full owner of the shop now.
Not that Carrot's ready to give it up fully. Most days he works on the unique flower arrangements that have made the business so popular in Elsewhere, but as his hands get more arthritic he's found a certain joy working behind the register and interacting with the customers more than ever. He and Leslie regularly drive not just their two kids, but Oren and Mallory insane pestering them for grandchildren.
Oren G. Speck-Trumm:
When one of his biggest high-school crushes, Meadow Thayer, moved into the dorm Oren shared with his three brothers, Oren swore to give up his romance-Sim ways (which wasn't that hard, since most women wouldn't look twice at him), although changing to pleasure wasn't that much of a switch for him. The two dated all through college, and got married their senior year. His siblings have a bet about when they'll divorce, and not one of them picked a very optimistic timeline.
When Carmen mentioned moving to Elsewhere, Oren and Meadow decided to move, too, and bought a cute little house that turned out to be just down the road from Carrot Egnaro-de Muse. Oren would've settled for a not-cute apartment, but Meadow is not a very big fan of not-cute.
To Meadow's dismay, Oren is much better at being a pleasure Sim than he was at being a romance Sim. He's got a job in the Slacker career, and spends most of his off-hours bar-hopping, playing poker, and dancing with women who may or may not have noticed the ring on his finger.
Family Sim Meadow would love to have kids, and Oren's enjoying the trying, but so far they've come up short. Their marriage is fraught with arguments, and even when they're ostensibly getting along, the air in their house is full of tension.
Except when Carrot and Leslie are over. With no family of her own, Meadow loves that Oren comes from such a massive brood, and is always inviting those two in particular over for barbecue in the backyard that she picked out specifically for the children she expected to have by now.
She might not invite them over so often if she knew they'd picked dates in Oren's siblings' bet, though.
Malcolm, Chris, and Martin Landgraab:
The three brothers went in together on three connected rowhouses; it was Chris's idea, and he pitched it as a sort of transition between their dorm and the mythical real world. Always close, having grown even closer living in the same dorm for four years, it was one last chance to spend some time together, so they all went for it. And it wasn't far from their parents' house, so they had some backup. It wasn't their fault there had been other things to study at college than cooking!
The sidewalk in front of their house was a great place to hang out, especially since the inside of each house was a liiiiittle more cramped than any of them had expected.
And they were just around the corner from the center of Elsewhere, with its great shopping, so it was a great place to meet new people.
Even though the arrangement was supposed to be temporary, it was still kind of bittersweet when the first brother moved out. Real world, here we come.
Malcolm Landgraab V:
A bit of an economic whiz, like his father, Malcolm V had impressed his professors all through college, and landed a pretty cushy, high-paying job right out of school. So he was a little reluctant about the rowhouse deal with Chris and Martin - after all, he could afford much better, and they weren't particularly becoming for a fortune Sim. But he gave in, and it turned out to be a very good decision.
Less than a year out of school, Malcolm V had saved up enough for a massive real estate coup - he bought the beautiful Fishhead Hotel in downtown Elsewhere.
A small town with small beaches, Elsewhere wasn't much of a tourist location, so the Hotel didn't get much use. Malcolm ignored the rooms and focused on the dining room, bar, and banquet hall, transforming it into the high-end place to go if you didn't want to travel all the way to Sim City. With the revenue, he was able to afford his own place and move out of the rowhouse - although, surprisingly, he was a little sadder about it than he expected.
That is a house for a fortune Sim.
Malcolm V turned himself into the real estate guru his father often said he'd dreamed of becoming, and been on his way to before he met Carmen. He owns half the land in Elsewhere, and quite a few hunks of downtown Sim City. Unmarried still, he's considered one of Sim City's most eligible bachelors, although he's painfully shy and doesn't take advantage the way Oren ribs him about.
Watching the rest of his family settle down and start families around him, Malcolm started to feel what he guessed would be called his biological clock ticking. With no real desire to marry - and never having met someone he'd want to, even if he felt like it - he decided to adopt. The original plan had been to adopt a son to take on the Malcolm Landgraab name...but when he saw little Mina, he fell head over heels in love.
He's a fabulous daddy, if a bit selfish - he didn't invite anyone to her birthday, because he didn't want anyone stealing her attention. And he's never been happier.
Not long after Malcolm V moved out, Chris ended up getting himself a place in downtown Sim City, thinking if he were closer to the nightlife he might have more luck dating. But he'd only lived there a short time when a woman he'd been seeing on and off for almost a year put her foot down - commit, or no more.
The choice was an easy one for family Sim Chris, even taking into consideration the premium he was paying for being close to the clubs and the reason for that.
Chris and Kandice are absolutely sickening, as most family/family three-bolt couples tend to be.
Their oldest daughter, Dana, is a bit of a wild thing; she loves all things nightlife, especially DJ'ing. She works in one of Uncle Malcolm's bowling alleys, and he's promised her a spot DJ'ing in a real club when she's old enough her father won't kill him.
The twins, Jake and John, are far more serene. Jake is rarely, if ever, found with his nose outside a book.
And John won't pry his fingers off the piano keys for anything or anyone.
The newest addition to the family is a little girl with Chris' eyes, Tina.
With both brothers out of the rowhouses, Martin was left with a little dilemma. No jobs in his dream Science career had come available, but he definitely needed to either find work or move somewhere else. Malcolm looked around with some connections and found a gaming company in Sim City that could use someone with some physics knowledge for a project - not permanent, but it paid well. Martin was uncomfortable with getting the job through his brother, but Malcolm promised him it wasn't shady.
Martin was glad he took the opportunity; it was working that job he met Mitch Samuels. Mitch was a game designer working on another project, but he'd apparently seen Martin and liked what he saw. God only knew why, that was the sort of thing that happened to other people. But even though Martin thought he had some horrible problem with his judgement, when Mitch asked him out, Martin said yes.
And fell hard.
They went out frequently, always to fancy places like Bernard's Botanical Dining to eat among the flowers, or Londoste where the food was so expensive Martin wanted to just order the water.
After months of dating, during which the project Martin was working on finished up and he was asked to stay on as a consultant, Mitch surprised him by asking him out for an afternoon date to Red's Diner. Martin, a pessimist by nature, couldn't stop worrying - from fancy dinners under the stars on the Hub's roof to a diner lunch? Something had to be wrong.
When he walked in. the first thing he saw was Mitch shooting pool with a teenager.
A teenager who looked an awful lot like Mitch.
The boy met up with some friends a few minutes later, and Mitch sat Martin down at a booth in the corner. He'd been married once, long ago, in an effort to convince himself he wasn't actually gay. It didn't work, and she took everything but their son, Michael. And he understood if this changed things.
They had dinner that night at Londoste, and Martin asked if it looked like anything had changed.
Things settled into a sort of routine while Michael and Martin got used to each other. Mitch and Martin still went on their dates, but sometimes all three of them hung out (and to their credit, neither of the Samuels made fun of Martin when they caught dinner and all he caught was a smelly old boot). Once, Michael and Martin went bowling, just the two of them, and had a pretty good talk about things.
Not long after that, Martin found a job as a test tube scrubber. It was a huge pay cut from his consulting work, but it was an in to the world of science, and he was overjoyed. Mitch took him out to the place they had their first date; they even sat at the same table.
They got married a month later, in the banquet hall of the Fishead hotel, and bought a house on Hammerhead Bay, just across the water from Cod Island.
Neither Mallory Speck-Trumm nor Natasha Croft were very fond of people, and that made them each other's kind of people. Rather than deal with dorms and roommates, they lived together all through college, getting engaged and eloping all in the same day. Neither one of them remembers which day, or exactly which year, but that's not really a problem for either of them.
The rest of the family knew Mallory way too well, and when they announced the plans to move to Elsewhere they didn't ask that she move, too - they just showed her Cod Island. A very small island, surrounded by very large rocks, with one very small house. Only reachable by boat.
The Crofts were in.
The house turned out to be pretty small, a great excuse on top of the boat thing to not have anyone over.
The girls mostly live off what Mallory grows and Natasha catches.
Now that Martin's moved right across the bay he and Mallory split the cost of a small rowboat, and he comes by a few times a month with some groceries and a stack of newspapers and mail. They don't really mind his company; the groceries keep them from getting too sick of fish, and he's promised not to tell any of the grandparents they're thinking about having a kid.
(I had both this set of mini-updates and the next Hill Valley update all played through and ready to edit/post, I ended up flipping a coin to decide which got posted first, but the Hurleys should be coming in the next couple days. Whee, Hurleys.)