I think of myself as a fairly well-adjusted person. Apart from public speaking I don't have any major phobias. I don't feel like I have a lot of personal baggage or hangups, and I generally consider myself (or at least present myself) as being laid back and relaxed. Overall, I see myself as being Pretty Much Okay With Things.
But as I've been browsing mods for The Sims 4 I've begun to realize I'm not. Not at all. Mods for The Sims 4 often consist of small tweaks as opposed to full conversions: some little aspect of the game's behavior that someone wanted to change. And looking through those mods has sent me into a tailspin of anxiety and doubt and even anger. Weird! Turns out I am not Pretty Much Okay With Things after all.
Take this mod called Less Waving Goodbye. The description reads: "This mod alters the ‘Broadcaster’ which requires all sims on the lot to wave goodbye to all other sims who are leaving the lot." The mod makes it so only Sims within a certain small radius will have to wave goodbye when another Sim leaves a gathering. Simple and nice, yet it sent me into a wormhole of low-level anxiety.
Gatherings and parties often give me a bit of stress, but seeing this mod that means Sims don't have to take notice when another Sim leaves a party makes me realize that leaving a party is even more stressful than attending a party. There's a relief that comes when it's time to leave a gathering, but it's quickly overshadowed by the stress of actually leaving. You're done with the party, you've survived, freedom is close, and soon you'll be safely home under a blanket refreshing Twitter and watching Limmy's Show Adventure Call compilations on YouTube.
But first you have to announce that you're leaving (while wondering if you're a dick for leaving before other people have left). You have to go around and say goodbye to everyone by either interrupting their conversations or waiting for a natural lull to push in and say farewell. And there's always that extended chat by the front door before you leave (despite the fact that you've been chatting all night, and really what else needs to be chatted about?). Plus: do I hug, handshake, cheek-kiss? What did we do last time? If we didn't hug last time but hug this time, do I have to hug every time in the future? And then there's the worry that follow-up plans might be made on the spot ("What are you doing this weekend?") thus giving you something new to stress about.
Being able to slip away with a simple wave to the nearest person and then vanish, as this mod allows—that's how The Sims, and life, should really work.
This mod called Nap in Bath seems great on the surface: a Sim can take a nap in a bath. With so much time spent on your Sims needing to sleep and bathe it seems useful to kill two birds with one stone.
And yet I am immediately and utterly repulsed by the mod. I thought at first it was because I personally prefer showers to baths, but that doesn't explain the instant revulsion I feel. After some thought, I can trace it back to my general distaste of people who spend way too much time in baths because of that one guy in The Truman Show.
When I think of napping in a tub all I can do is see the guy from The Truman Show who watched the entire show while never once getting out of his tub. That's all I could think about during the movie. Some people watched it in a bar, some watched it from their couch, but this guy watched it in his tub. The whole thing. And he slept in the tub, too. Why? Why are you in your tub for so long? That water must be all dirty and room temperature by now. Get out of your tub! You're being weird and gross and creeping me out.
Several years ago I was washing dishes in the kitchen, finished, left the kitchen, and then immediately walked back in because I had left a meat thermometer to dry on the counter. The thermometer was pointing straight up, like a spike, and the thought had occurred to me that if my cat jumps onto the kitchen counter and lies down he could be impaled through the heart on the meat thermometer.
A couple things to keep in mind: my cat had never, not once in his entire life, jumped onto the kitchen counter (at least not while I was around to see it). Second, if he did decide to choose that particular day to jump onto the counter, he would then have had to immediately lie down directly on top of the thermometer, like, really plummet his full weight into a lying position to impale himself through the heart. This was my fear, that he might suddenly and inexplicably do this, and this fear was real enough to make me return to the kitchen and put the thermometer on its side (though I didn't just dry it and put it away: I'm not a superhero).
Anyway, this mod called Pets Do Not Have Fears is a bad thing. It makes pets have no fear of objects like the fireplace, microwave, stove, vacuum, toilets, or things on fire. That's terrible because pets should have fears, they must, because I simply cannot be the only one with fears when it comes to pets. I cannot contain all of the fears myself.
This one is called 'Sleepless Trait', and from this mod's description:
That's all I needed to read before I felt a cold and dreadful sensation in my stomach. I've had a number of difficulties with sleep over the years, from months-long bouts of insomnia, parasomnia, auditory hallucinations, restless leg syndrome, anxiety dreams, a thing that is actually fucking called exploding head syndrome—I've been plagued with pretty much everything but sleep-walking and the one where you mime murdering people while sleeping.
In addition to not getting enough sleep and feeling like a damn zombie all damn day, sometimes for months, bedtime itself becomes an anxiety-ridden viper's nest. When you already have trouble sleeping, it doesn't help to spend the hours leading up to sleep stressing out over if you'll be able to sleep.
So, seeing there's a mod where you can inflict your Sim with difficulty sleeping makes me feel ill. Don't get me wrong: I've done horrible things to my Sims. I've even done horrible things to pets in The Sims. But in my mind they pale in comparison to giving my Sim problems sleeping. Let them have this one respite from their simulated lives! Let them sleep.
Too many cooks
I think it's nice to have a certain level of comfort with friends. If a friend of mine is over, I'd rather he didn't ask if he can have something to drink but just helped himself (mainly so I don't have to get up off the couch). If they need to use the bathroom, obviously, they don't need to ask me first. But cooking a meal? Just deciding to make a meal on the stove? Watching TV with me, and then strolling into the bathroom and just taking a bath all of the sudden? That just seems weird.
This mod dictates that there's no inappropriate behavior for close friends and family. Family isn't just spouses and kids, by the way, it includes siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. You can walk in on them while they're naked (and vice-versa). You can walk in on them while they're using the toilet or shower. The mod makes it so these events will cause no embarrassment.
Nope. Also: nope. If I see my cousin taking a shit, that is plenty of cause for embarrassment. If my niece walks in and I'm taking a shower, that's not business as usual. And if my good friend drops by and immediately starts cooking a meal on the stove, I'm gonna be like: dude, what the fuck are you doing?
This Old Grouse
Seeing this mod featuring a panda rug, panda drapes, panda chairs, panda dolls, and a panda bedspread drew me to the brink of rage, but was an instantly identifiable one: my hatred of home makeover shows. It has nothing to do with pandas. I like pandas! (Especially red pandas, which aren't really pandas.)
I remember one of those home makeover shows, where they'd completely remodel a house for a family. There was invariably a little kid, and they'd ask what the kid liked, and the answer would be, like, dinosaurs or pirates or something. And then they'd proceed to turn the kid's room into a scene from the Jurassic period or make the entire room look like a pirate ship.
And yeah, that would be cool for a kid, at least for a while, until the kid grew up a little or started liking Power Rangers or Pokemon more than dinosaurs or pirates. There's no guarantee a kid who loves dinosaurs (or more likely, who answered that way because a producer told him to because they wanted to do a dinosaur-themed room that week) will love dinosaurs forever. Plus, at some point the parents are going to have to sell the house and how many prospective buyers are looking for the three-bedroom two-bath where one of the bedrooms is a goddamn pirate ship? It pisses me off both as a homeowner and as a former child who would have loved a dinosaur room right up until a week later when he discovered the X-Men.
So, there you have it. I can't sleep and I hate leaving parties even more than I hate attending parties. Don't nap in a tub and don't cook in my house. I don't want anyone to feel comfortable if they see me taking a dump, and home makeover shows should be wiped from the earth.
I no longer feel pretty well-adjusted. I feel like a hot mess. Thanks, modders!