Sims 4 Overthinking: Function Over Fashion

By Bay Posted Friday Jan 13, 2023

Filed under: Epilogue, The Sims Overthinking 14 comments

Mr. and Mrs. Smith began their marriage in 1912. By 1915 they had a custom-built house, courtesy of Mrs. Smith’s father. They were allowed to make whatever decisions they liked, even bad ones, to make their dream home a reality. In my mind, I think Mrs. Smith’s father had a building company, which Mr. Smith was working at and intended to take over once her father retired.

This means that Mr. Smith would have lied through his teeth to his father-in-law. Imagine, for a moment, that the two men are speaking about the house plans. Mr. Smith mentions that they want that awful go-nowhere balcony, for the visuals of it. The father-in-law is a builder by trade and knows this is a horrible idea. But, the moment his eyebrow is raised and he is expressing that he is skeptical of the plan, Mr. Smith is shaking his head and laughing, insisting it’s all his idiot wife’s idea and he’s just going along with what she wants. It’s 1913, both of them laugh at the folly of vain women, and the stupid balcony is built. Mr. Smith was who wanted the balcony, he liked the idea of climbing up there to hang Christmas lights. Mrs. Smith hated the balcony because she was worried he’d break his neck up there.

The year is now 1950. Mr. Smith only hung Christmas lights for the first two years they lived in the house, and now they are in their 60s, and the space is nothing but a thorn in their sides and a place for grandchildren to lose balls. The balcony often needs to be cleaned of debris, and because of the fences, holds water when it rains. During the depression, when the father-in-law’s building company went under and Mr. and Mrs. Smith had to take boarders to feed their kids, the balcony caused water damage to the attic.

By the 1950s, Mr. Smith has got a job again and they are recovering financially. Fixing the water damage has been put off, but the leak is patched and they’ve grown wiser. The space is filled with inexpensive installation to keep heating easy and cost-effective, something their 20-year-old selves wouldn’t have dreamed of, since it compromises aesthetics.

The blue paint they insisted on has faded, although not necessarily for the worse. The color is fine, and repainting is no longer at the top of the Smiths’ list of priorities.

They have four lovely grandchildren, who they want over as often as possible. This gives incentive for some playground equipment, which I am sure their grown children are slightly jealous of since they never had it growing up.

In goes a swing set, and out goes what used to be there; the clothesline. Mrs. Smith is getting older, and they don’t have hired help anymore. The in-home washer and dryer became available just over a decade before, but they hadn’t had the money to do it then. If they’d had the money at the time, it was common to just put the washer and dryer in a room that could be fitted for the plumbing, often the kitchen or bathroom. But the Smiths’ home doesn’t have the space for it in either room, so it’s taken them a decade to finally bite the bullet and make space.

The basement is a death trap as it is. The ladder has been the instigator in many an accident, sometimes while holding glass jars and other things that would be very uncomfortable to drop and break a fall with. It’s almost entirely unfinished, so it floods often, and the Smiths basically never use it anymore. With their hard-earned respect for money, this seems like the best place to put it.

Mr. Smith has a building company of his own, now. It started years back doing odd jobs for people when money was tight. He had the experience from his days working for Mrs. Smith’s father, and it made him a staple in the community. Now, he has men under him and mostly does management, giving them a pretty good nest egg.

They utilize the used and excess materials from his business to finish the basement. The tiles are cobbled together with the broken ones from a different build, and the paint is leftover and in low supply.  The only things they get entirely new are the stairs and the laundry machines. They have to take out the pantry to make room for the new stairs, but it seems worth it to both of them. If nothing else, to avoid hospital bills down the line.

You’ll have to bear with me. This type of washer/dryer is, of course, nowhere near available yet, but it’s the only one in the game. Pretend they’re vintage top loaders with questionable wiring, okay?


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14 thoughts on “Sims 4 Overthinking: Function Over Fashion

  1. RCN says:

    Each new post I am amazed at how much customizability The Sims 4 allows and what it bafflingly doesn’t.

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      Mind you, this is without mods. The Sims games are hovering very close to Skyrim’s “if there’s a way you’d rather play the game there’s probably a mod for it”.

      1. RCN says:

        I was extremely surprised that EA has even allowed mods in the franchise again. What were the executives doing when the devs did that? Having a vacation skying in a mountain of cocaine?

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          I’m honestly somewhat surprised EA doesn’t try to exercise tighter control over the modding of the game. Getting all the DLCs* at this point would cost I think around 1000$ at full price, even on a good sale that would be somewhere in the 200-250$ range, and I doubt the newest expansions hit the 75-80% discounts (with a new AAA game sitting somewhere in the 60-70$ range). You’d think that about half the content mods would be things they might possibly include somewhere down the line, maybe as part of some larger expansion, with the other half probably being stuff they’d rather not see in their game ever, like giving sims guns or all the mods people use to make porn. Particularly interesting since this is EA we’re talking about, a company that’s known for trying to heavily monetize their products (and to be fair they do monetize Sims a bunch, just surprised they’re not being aholes about it).

          *I know this includes stuff packs and such and generally yes, the consensus seems to be not to get everything but pick and choose but still.

  2. Octal says:

    so it floods often

    And what are the odds they’ve completely fixed that flooding issue… now that they have some expensive and important appliances down there to potentially be damaged by it?

  3. Lachlan the Sane says:

    Something that I learned recently in the “Holy cow different countries are culturally different” vein:

    Growing up in Australia, pretty much everyone had a washer and a dryer, but people would only use the dryer very, very rarely. Everyone has a clothesline somewhere, and you only use the dryer when you really need clothes dried immediately or when it’s been an extremely long streak of rainy days (which isn’t that common, because again it is Australia). Even apartment blocks with shared laundries will usually have some clotheslines next to the carpark. There’s also a weird bit of national pride involved — the height-adjustable rotary clothesline was actually invented by Australians, and our culture desperately clings on to anything we’ve invented.

    Now, I figured that people in other countries probably used the dryer more often than we did here. Other countries don’t get as much sun as Australia does, and you can’t leave clothes out overnight if the temperature is going to drop below freezing (I had to learn how to deal with this when I moved inland to a city where we do get overnight frosts in winter). There’s also laundromats, which aren’t that common in Australia, but I knew that people in big cities relied on them and would therefore need to use the dryers as well.

    But I figured that, if anywhere would be as in love with the clothesline as Australia, it would be suburban America. I mean, suburban Americans have massive backyards (just like Australians), and while your winters are harsher than ours you do at least get a lot of sunlight in the summer.

    But apparently not! Because your ridiculous Home Owners Associations have decided that seeing clothes outside is unseemly! And because the HOA has absolute power over the appearance of houses on their blocks, you can’t put clotheslines outside! So you have to use dryers for everything even though it’s more expensive and it makes the ironing harder! A bunch of states have had to pass “Right-to-Dry” laws which specifically forbid HOAs from banning outdoor clotheslines!

    Anyway, the moral of the story is that some Australians invented a dang good clothesline, and also that HOAs are stupid.

    1. Noah Gibbs says:

      Those things are all basically true. But also on the list is that Americans venerate looking rich, often much more so than actually *being* rich, and clotheslines have come to be associated with poor people.

    2. sheer_falacy says:

      I don’t think HOAs are the big reason for the difference – personally I can’t really picture why I would ever use a clothesline when dryers exist. They’re just incredibly convenient. Then again, you mention “the ironing” as if it’s universal which already indicates a drastic difference in your view on clothes because I do not own an iron and have no desire to ever have one.

      1. Joshua says:

        Yeah, I stopped ironing about 15 years ago and just use the process of “hang it up as soon as it comes out of the dryer” and it mostly works fine. For anything fancier, I probably just take it to a dry-cleaner anyway.

        Also, dryers aren’t *that* expensive to operate a dryer. A quick Google search says that an average household probably costs about ~$160 a year. That saves a LOT of going in and out of the yard and putting everything up on clothespins.

    3. Philadelphus says:

      It’s not exactly all sunshine and clear skies within Australia: I spent four years living in Melbourne and for a good three-quarters of the year or more I couldn’t use a clothes line* because it was A) too cold B) too rainy C) both at the same time or D) it’s Melbourne, have a surprise hailstorm/thunderstorm/downpour out of the blue in the middle of summer, hope you weren’t drying clothes LOL! :)

      So you have to use dryers for everything even though it’s more expensive and it makes the ironing harder!

      “Have to” is a weird way of putting it, I’ve been dying clothes for over a decade in my adult life and I’d take a dryer over a clothesline in a heartbeat any day (thankfully my current place finally has one). I mean, I live in Hawaii, with the most expensive electricity in the country (a quick search suggests almost double the average price in Australia), and it’s, I dunno, maybe 10, 20 bucks a month in my electric bill? I make enough that it’s not a choice of that or starving, so I’ll gladly pay a bit for the convenience and time savings in not having to laboriously hang each and every single individual piece of clothing up each week, then take it all down again later when it’s all stiff and nasty-feeling from air-drying. (I’ve never ironed anything in my life, though, so I can’t speak to that side of it.)

      *Though props to the Hills Hoist itself, I had one for about 9 months, and it’s a pretty solid implementation of the idea.

    4. Dreadjaws says:

      It’s interesting to see this thread and see how different things are everywhere. Where I live, clotheslines are entirely normal and stuff like dryers and dishwashers are more or less considered unnecessary vanity items. I suppose it’s all part of the heavily tradition-fixed culture here. I own a bunch of videogame consoles yet I tend to look at the dryer as the superfluous appliance (even though it has saved me more than once in one of those occasions when it won’t stop raining for days).

  4. unit3000-21 says:

    “The balcony often needs to be cleaned of debris, and because of the fences, holds water when it rains.”

    Surely even the dumbest builder would install a basic water discharge system?

    1. RCN says:

      Yes… but the dumbest builder would also make a crappy water discharge system that would clog frequently and be a pain in the ass to unclog, especially due to the location.

  5. William H says:

    What will become of this house when the couple dies and haunts the place though?

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