It occasionally comes up, between Elise and I, that we might eventually live with one another. It isn’t such a strange and alien topic: we’ve dated for a year and a half, enjoy roughly similar means of entertainment and standards of cleanliness, and both of our current leases end sometime next summer. However, similar standards do not a happy household make. And, so, I have discovered the next best way (after the Ikea catalog) to proactively predict and resolve the problems associated with co-habitation while evaluating the important similarities and differences in our styles of living.
I am, of course, speak of The Sims. It has been running on the computer-shaped-debt for more than 72-hours straight, courtesy of Karen. We each created our own pair of us as our test-pilot families, each surfed meticulously for the right clothes and balance of traits for our virtual avatars. And, without any argument, we arrived at the unspoken agreement that our collective goal was to become both rich and famous.
Our paths to have been slightly divergent. In my version of events, Elise is a successful computer programmer by night, while by day she practices in the mirror until her big break arrives. In her reality, Elise is a up-and-coming star who goes to photo shoots and hob-nobs with celebrities. Interestingly, both of our Peter’s have the same job as a lobbyist, and are currently stuck in the same mid-level position because they/we/I do not have enough networking connections (ie: Friends) to climb higher up the corporate ladder.
Our pairs mingle: the Peters are not fond of each other, but my Peter enjoys the company of her Elise — the two of them are both incredibly charismatic — funny how we focused on that trait in our own characters. My Elise is typically in need of social contact because she is busy practicing her skills, while their family has a huge nest-egg saved from my daily work and her occasional print ads. My house has been ruthlessly arranged and rearranged to maximize mood and efficiency, while hers is more aesthetically pleasing. And, notably, neither of us have had me quit my moderately-paid job to attempt to become famous.
It is at once amusing and very telling. I suspect that I only have a few more days of playing in me; only for so long can modeling my virtual life hold my attention captive from my real one. The appeal lies in the ability to see our separate ideals co-existing in the same virtual neighborhood, complete with subtle differences and less obvious similarities. However our experiment in collective house-keeping turns out, rest assured that the major points have been taken, with the chief amongst them being: No matter what you hope, wish, plan, or virtually model, you only have one chance to get it right; don’t waste it.