Older and wiser

Summer 3039
Karen Chaplin is 49, Albin Chaplin is 13 (Eamon Chaplin is 23)
Household profile
Last update: Winter 3037

karen39_frontA lot of things get better with time and age.

Your self-confidence, for example.

Karen has never been particularly shy or insecure but she isn’t so sure she would have dared to do then what she does now – quit her job and go all in when she’s offered to buy a small shop in River’s Bend. It’s an old building with a low rent and located right in the middle of their street which makes all the difference to her.

Because with just one kid living at home Karen had found no reason to keep her large house and had sold it, non-dramatically a few months ago. Their new place is smaller and suits them much better and now, of course, it’s beyond perfect what with the shop being within walking distance.

karen39_5She’s (ironically) named it Bake-Off, intending to sell baked goods and sweets and she keeps the original walls and floors, deciding that it gives the place a nice little touch of the good old days. Besides, it saves her the trouble of renovating it.

karen39_4Am I crazy? She had asked Leo and Eamon this several times during the weeks she spent getting everything sorted out for the opening and they had both replied, several times, that she isn’t.

And she doesn’t think she is, either, but it still feels odd to be doing this again. Her previous attempts didn’t succeed but the circumstances were different back then, she was different.

karen39_6She’s really nervous during her opening – which takes place at night, just to be sure enough people are home from work and willing to do some shopping. It’s been a long time since she ran a business of her own and she’s afraid she’s lost both her passion and her talent for it.

karen39_15But she has several customers that opening night and it turns out that, in the bright light of day, things are much less scary.

karen39_16This time around she may lack the stamina of her 30-something self but what she lacks in young age she makes up for in experience and reputation. People know her. Sure, not everyone knows her in a good way – to some she’s still that irresponsible woman who got herself knocked up by a college kid – but they know her all the same. Never underestimate the power of idiots, either, she thinks to herself as she spots a few gossip mongers in the line-up for her shop.

What does she care what they think of her? If they visit her bakery to get a good look at the non-conformist suburban mom and end up buying a cake, then that’s her gain.

karen39_7The only downside of running her own business again is the long working hours. She wants to do everything herself for the time being, wanting to force herself back into the whole mindset rather than letting someone help her out. Later, she decides. Later, when she makes money and can afford the luxury of assistance.

Albin says it’s really no problem if she gets home late, either and Karen tells herself that if things keep going at this rate, she will be able to set up a savings account for him in no time. She was never able to do this for her older sons and even if they’ve both managed just fine without it, she would like to feel that she can help out now, that they have the opportunity to ask her for financial aid if they want to.

karen39_3Even if college seems far off for Albin, it really isn’t. If Karen has learned anything it’s that once your kid is a teenager, he will be getting married before you know it. Time flies.

karen39_8At the moment, however, Albin doesn’t give his future much thought. He’s very much living in the now and is much more socially skilled than Karen remembers his brothers being at his age. Most teenagers appear slightly off somehow, very clumsy and awkward at times, but Albin is still managing just fine.

karen39_9Karen is fairly convinced that he’s in love with Rebecca Siew, though she hasn’t been seeing anything but friendly interaction between them so far and doesn’t really expect something else to happen for a while yet, either.

Not that she’s going to make a big deal of it. It seems Rebecca’s parents are easy-going, as well, letting her stay with Karen and Albin at least twice a week.

karen39_10Usually they play video games, do their homework together or practice football. Both are avid players and Rebecca is, according to Albin, the only one who can actually beat him in the field.

karen39_11They’ve always been friends and Karen has sensed that Rebecca might drag Albin into the occasional spot of trouble in school, but while she’s a bit of a hurricane, there’s nothing malicious about her at all. She’s a bright, energetic girl.

karen39_14To Albin’s joy, Eamon often stops by to visit them these days. They’ve always had a special bond and she’s happy they still keep in touch.

karen39_13Eamon has some girl troubles, these days. He doesn’t discuss them very explicitly with Karen, but she can piece together a pretty full picture from what he says – he wanted to be young and free and ended up with a roomie-with-benefits. Said roomie also seems to have feelings for him and Karen would find it amusing if Eamon didn’t seem so depressed about the arrangement.

“You can’t live with your friends with benefits,” she tells him, wondering if that’s a completely absurd thing for a mother to tell her son. It probably is. Then again, she’ll never win the Mother of the Year award. “It goes against the whole purpose.”

karen39_12“Can we not talk about my private life,” Eamon mutters.

“You started it.”

“I just want to date. How hard can that be?”

karen39_17Karen finally decides that she doesn’t want to hear him whining about his romantic life any more without doing anything about it, so she invites him over to meet the daughter of an old friend – Phoebe McAuley.

karen39_18Phoebe is clever and ambitious and just the sort of mix between easy-going and serious that Karen suspects Eamon is after, even if he might not know it himself yet. They seem to get along very well, too, talking all afternoon about music and the city.

karen39_19If nothing else, it might spur him to get his act together.


* I posted a lot tour on my tumblr when I decorated this place – I really like it, actually, and it suits them perfectly. Part one & part two

* Albin and Rebecca Siew are adorable together, but they’re still just friends. They’re always competing, though, which amuses me.

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10 Responses to Older and wiser

  1. Carla says:

    Karen’s bakery looks amazing. The slightly vintage look gives it a bit of an offbeat vibe and adds a lot of charm.

    Albin and Rebecca are indeed adorable together. It’ll be interesting to see if things stay platonic between them or if they develop a romantic interest in other people. Curious to see how that would affect their friendship too.

    Phoebe seems a promising prospect for Eamon but I can’t help but wonder what Kana will think!

    • River's Bend says:

      Thanks, the bakery lot is built by someone else but I re-decorated it quite a bit. 🙂

      Phoebe and Eamon hit it off very quickly, so I’m interested to see if he rolls any wants for her the next time I play him – his entire living situation/love life is a mess at the moment, so I wonder if the poor girl knows what she’s up for.

  2. Starrsim says:

    I adore Karen as a mom, she’s unconventional but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t care or that she isn’t active in her children’s lives. The new bakery sounds like it’s right on time for her

    • River's Bend says:

      Yeah, I’d say Karen cares a lot and she’s the sort of parent who will remain close with her kids once they’re adults as well because she respects them as people.

  3. Fini says:

    I love Karen, glad to see her bakery is going well for now, and she reminds me of my grandmother acutally, not interested in hearing someone whine about problems they won’t try to fix. Nice bit of nostalgia. I’ll be watching Albin and Rebecca very closely.

  4. Ashland sims says:

    Karen’s bakery is adorable! It looks like things have started off really well. I hope she continues to have success with it!

    Forgive me for just discovering your blog! I wish I had found it sooner. I will be peeking around a bit more and hopefully won’t annoy you with comments on old posts!!

    • River's Bend says:

      Thank you and welcome to the blog! I hope you can make some sense of it, though it’s a lot to catch up on by now. 🙂 It’s funny, because last night I bookmarked your blog in order to read once RL gave me a break and now here you are.

      • Ashland Sims says:

        I’m really looking forward to some good nightly reading 🙂
        That’s so funny! Yay for finding each other’s blogs at almost the same time! lol

  5. maisie says:

    The bakery is fantastic! It totally fits Karen, and I think she’s in the perfect place in her life for it. She’s really matured into herself more slowly, like a fine wine. And while she’s always been secure in herself, she didn’t always know what she wanted. Now she seems to have everything together, and helping Albin pay for school when he’s ready, what a great feeling that would be for Karen.

    I really loved seeing her with Eamon, and that she set him up, the girl is lovely, but man do I want to know how it’s going to go back at his place.

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