Much like her namesake, Pitaya is somewhat exotic on the outside but feels fairly plain and mild on the inside. As an avid gamer girl, she feels good as long as she can hide behind her computer and her avatar but when forced into the real world she becomes shy, awkward and clumsy.
Under the influence of my best (and only IRL) friend, I signed up an audition spot for the BSC. I figured I'd be eliminated right off the bat but would still appease Serria by at least trying out. Days before the audition, however, Serria reminded me of one tiny little problem, "You cannot audition for the Berry Sweet Competition barefoot! Don't you own ANY shoes?"
Honestly, that would be a no - save the flimsy pair of flip flops shoved somewhere under my bed. I had to admit the point though so my only means of prepping for the biggest modeling competition in the 'verse involved shoe shopping. After a harrowing hour looking at the foot torture devices, I left the store with a new pair of flip flops and a look of disdain from the sales lady. I'll just have to win the judges over with charm and grace - shoes be damned.
Additional thoughts: If you've ever lurked or competed in the Berry Sweet Comp, you know the level of fierce talent that shows up for this - I honestly expected to be eliminated without even making it into the Sweet 16!
The one I didn't use (because there's almost always one I threw out! lol)
Assignment One: The Berry-Con
I know what you're thinking - who idolizes the psycho stalker? It's not that I idolize Shilo Cerise Amour or anything but I have a thing for those villains you love to hate! The Bad Berry Panel was dedicated to just those sorts so I just knew I had to be there!
Sure it was at the berry crack of dawn and sure when you put so many violent personalities in the same room it's bound to cause problems....boy did it ever! Maize and Manny spent most of the panel fighting. Snare wouldn't stop making moves on Celly even though she wouldn't even LOOK at him. Darko made it his life's mission to thoroughly gross out Shilo by belching the WHOLE TIME! It was awesome! The best convention panel EVER!
After it all descended into chaos, I intended to meet (and rescue) Shilo from Darko but was waylaid by Mirage Kashmir. He had one of those smiles - you know the ones - deliciously deadly? It was both flattering and creepy really. One, he's a movie star and two, he's a berry hole...
Additional thoughts: I love Bad Berries, I love seeing the darker side of a story or character and those characters that you just love to hate seem to stick with us more than any other. Hence the birth of the Bad Berry Club.
The one I didn't use:
Assignment Two: Berry-Idol, part 2
When Shilo called me I was leery - I don't really DO parties but then she mentioned Mirage would be there and, well, berryhole or not...
The first party was great - or the nectar was anyway - but Mirage was a no show. In true psycho stalker form, she suggested we go find him! She neglected to mention we'd be climbing into the nearest tree for a sneak peak!
Let's just say my naughty Mrs. Claus outfit and the infernal strappy heels were NOT meant for tree climbing...ow!
I did meet a cute cop though, as I was being arrested for trespassing...
Additional thoughts: As I picked a bad Berry for an idol in the first assignment, this one was pretty challenging for me! Pit couldn't be "excited" necessarily to go out with her idol. Still, it was fun - even making her jump on the trampoline until she fell over and and over and over. Sorry Pit!
The one I didn't use, well there wasn't one this time. There were lots of shots taken, just none I would have considered for the entry.
Assignment Three: Peas in a Pod
When Worlds Collide
I have two best friends (three if you count my computer). One of the sim variety and one of the furry variety.
Unfortunately the first time Serria (my sim friend) met Sprite (my dog), things didn't really go so well. They have one thing in common - they both LOVE shoes. They just have a slight difference of opinion of what one should do with them.
I swear she didn't stop grumbling about her precious boots for a month!
Additional thoughts: I was going to just use the dog because Pit is not particularly people friendly but as I'd mentioned a friend in the entry, I figured it was time for Serria to make her appearance. Serria's a fashionista and loves her clothes (and shoes) so Serria and pets...probably a no-go.
The one I didn't use (the dog's face in the entry one won me over lol):
Assignment Four: Swings
When Fairies Take Flight
When we arrived at the faire, my niece looked toward the rides with both longing and dread - she was scared to go too high or too fast! Instead we got our faces painted, bought new clothes, adorned our hair with flowers and turned into real fairies (according to the vendors). Almost.
Fairies had to fly; that's what she told me. With a great deal of bravery, she pointed to the swing ride and we flew. Boy did we fly!
Additional thoughts: First off, I think Thistle is the most adorable little berry ever! So this assignment just about broke my mental health! I love swings but they are tricky to work with in sims! lol More than that, I had a mental image in my head that simply could not be translated to the game! Still, I do love the end result.
The one I didn't use: there isn't one. I took tons of pictures for this and disliked small things about most of them so they got eliminated right off.
Assignment Five: Berry Sweetlets
This is a story my dad still tells to this day to unsuspecting friends and boyfriends - I woke up in the middle of the night and climbed up into the fridge for juice and cookies. Even Tango the tiger came with me for my midnight caper.
I can only figure I was too tired or content to bother to go back to bed because my dad found me the next morning still sleeping there, with the door wide open and juice dripping from the toppled juice box.
From then on, Dad made sure to keep a box of juice on the lowest shelf of the door just in case.
Additional thoughts: This picture was inspired from a story of my own childhood actually. I think I was after Oreos and Kool-Aid though.
The one I didn't use:
Assignment Six: Color Balance
Ever since my brother's wife died, he'd pretty much checked out and I stepped in to take care of Thistle. So when she begged me to join her on her Berry Scouts camping trip - I couldn't say no. I do wish she would have mentioned the fact that it was a Father/Daughter trip though!
My social skills around men are pretty much non-existent, so when Khaki - one of the scout leaders and a single father sat down next me just after most of the girls had gone to sleep, I was tongue tied.
When he put his hand on mine...I nearly fainted...
Additional thoughts: I was assigned green and yellow which are not really my favorite colors lol. Green was good though because it allowed me to use the grass and bushes and such without detracting from the overall color scheme.
The one I didn't use: Not one this time. I took plenty but as usual I ignored them because of small details here and there. I'm such a perfectionist lol
Assignment Seven: It's a Sitcom!
After gloriously flushing out of college after only two semesters, I invested what little money I had in a new-old van - by new-old I mean it was new to me but actually really old.
My plan, such that it was, involved road tripping across the country in seek of...something. Of course I had no money for gas, or food, after buying the van. So I put an ad in the school newspaper seeking an adventure buddy.
Serria didn't even go to the school I did but she had a dream that would not be realized in a small town. She also has some money, making her a good candidate.
Picton and Amaranth came as a set - which was two more than I'd originally planned to take on - but once Picton explained Amy's story, I couldn't say no. She'd been in, what could only be described as, a toxic relationship with Picton's roommate. Picton, being a rescuer at heart, wanted to save the planet. He started with Amy.
None of us had much to offer monetarily. Serria had put most of her money into a failed fashion line. Picton had been cut off by his father when he chose environmental law over corporate law. And Amy was lucky to get away with the clothes on her back. Still, we pooled our resources and began our journey.
Then Serria ran into Tango - quite literally. Tango was in the midst of his own cross country journey, though his was on foot. We were only two days into our trip when Serria's horrible driving effectively terminated Tango's plans. Though he was unlikely to be running any time soon, Tango did survive and it seemed only fair to offer him a ride.
We were probably the most unlikely group of people to come together personality wise. Serria and Picton faught all the time, about everything. Amy, though physically healed, was still a wreck inside while Tango was broken and grumpy about it. Still - it worked, sort of anyway. Every city was an adventure. Every day was a chance to get lost.
And lost we got - more often than not.
"I've got no signal out here!" Tango grumbled as he looked at his phone for the dozenth time. Beside him, Amy whimpered a bit and looked around anxiously.
"Are you even looking at that thing right?" Picton tried to snatch the map from Serria's hands.
"You think anyone is inside?" Serria asked meekly, gesturing to the old gas station.
"Looks like it was abandoned back when the van was new Ser," I said, rubbing my temples.
The problem with stopping in every city we drove through was how long it all took. The only person who had a problem with that, though, was Tango. Because Tango had plans, lots and lots of plans.
Like Serria and Picton - this was a clashing point for us. I was simply not a planner. I didn't even have a destination in mind! On a whim I might verge left and completely upset Tango's precious balance for the day. Is it wrong that I found this just a little bit funny?
We were in Twizzlerbrook walking along main street when a few locals called us over to join their BBQ. It was not an opportunity to pass up. Tango, however, had picked out a place from the guidebook for lunch and started to protest but I grabbed his hand. "Come on Tango, it's free food..."
After we were full and had expressed our gratitude to our hosts, we sat on the edge of a large fountain. Being barefoot, I dropped my feet over the edge and let the cool water work out the minor aches and pains. I saw Tango watching me, a curious look his face and beckoned him over. Though he came to stand beside me, he refused to put his feet into the pool or even take off his shoes. I could feel the argument coming - one we'd had a dozen times about my lack foot apparel - and decided to preempt it this time.
I took his hand and held fast as I plunged into the water, dragging him in with me. If he'd been expecting it, I wouldn't have had such an easy time of it. The pool of water was deep but after a moment we both found our footing and he came up sputtering. "What the berry!?"
"Bet you didn't plan that!" I teased, sending a small wave of water at him. He pushed it back at me and I couldn't help but giggle.
While I'd been clearing the water from my eyes, he'd ducked under the water and popped up right next to me.
And then he kissed me! Behind us, I heard Amy cough several times followed by Serria's voice, "told you so! You owe me three candy bars and two sodas!" Picton groaned. Apparently I was the only one surprised!
"You know I planned that," Tango said, when the liplock ended, all too soon for my tastes.
"R-really?" I stammered.
"Almost since the day we met."
"Almost?" I said, teasingly, trying to get back to familiar territory.
"Well there was the part where you drive me crazy - had to get over that," he replied with a grin.
"And how's that going for you?"
"Still here aren't I?" Tango said with a wink.
Additional thoughts: I opted to turn a small portion of Pit's past into a sitcom for this assignment. This would have occurred over the summer when she was 19/20. I think the gang looks like I berrified the Scooby Doo crew a bit as an after thought lol. Oh and this would be when she met her BFF Serria! :D
The ones I didn't use:
Photo 1: Third Wheel
When Serria pleaded with me to accompany her on a date - a third date no less - I was naturally anxious. Why me? What benefit could I be as a tag-a-long? But she's my friend and, well we do stuff like that for friends. Three things happened to make the date completely and totally awkward - as if it weren't already!
1) I realized, as I was getting ready and Ser wouldn't shut up about him, that this was the "audition date" - the one where you see how is with your friends before taking it up a notch.
2) Ser's date turned out to be Khaki. Khaki was Thistle's scout leader. Khaki and I had flirted quite a bit on a certain camping trip!
3) I realized my BFF was already head over heels for this guy. So much for my little crush.
Photo 2: I’ll be there for you.
I'd seen it coming - I wish I could say I hadn't but the moment Khaki had recognized me on that fateful date, things had gone downhill with Ser. So I planned ahead and just waited. I elicited the help of Ser's administrative assistant and our friend Amy to plan a big night for Ser. I almost felt bad hoping Khaki would dump her before the day came and went!
Amy was on the board of a big charity helping battered and abused women get on their feet again. She'd already been planning a fashion show when I proposed using Ser's designs in the show and she was quick to jump on board!
When the big night came, Ser was still in phase one of the dumping and didn't even want to leave the house but glitz and glamour always perked her up! She was so out of it, she didn't even notice the models were all sporting her own designs until the announcer called her up on stage! I was the loudest person in the crowd cheering for my BFF - much to Amy's horror.
Photo 3: A Berry Sweet Surprise!
Having reconnected with Amy during the charity event, I thought getting all the old road trip gang together might further Ser's recovery. She'd lost touch with most of them but I'd exchanged emails over the years so it was easy enough to find them. Fate, as ever, was in our favor and everyone was able to make it! I expected Ser and Picton to pick up where they left off - fighting - boy was I in for a surprise!
Of course Khaki crashing the party was an even bigger surprise! What the berry was HE doing here?
"Oh, you're not alone..." Khaki looked around awkwardly at the party he hadn't been expecting. "I wanted to talk to you...is that Serria?" I didn't answer as his face moved from surprise to hurt to annoyance. "Guess she moves on fast..."
"Seriously?!" He left soon after that, though it took a lot of persuading on my part!
Photo 4: SWEET!!
I've always thought of Ser as the sister I never had. Despite our obvious differences and small bickerings - we're always there for each other. In fact, I think I could say the same for most of our friends now - they're family; a family we could pick.
It's been a year since that fateful date on the boardwalk. Despite the initial heartache - I think it was meant to happen the way it did to bring Picton and Ser back together. Amy and Tango have even made a go of it - which was awkward at first but I assured her that Tango and I are just friends.
Besides - I'd say Khaki and I getting together was more awkward than all the rest. I know! I know! It's crazy isn't it? But that's the way the Sweet world works! Oh I think I'm supposed to try for the bouquet now!
Additional thoughts: I'll leave these off for now since the Finale hasn't be judged yet! I will say I had a lot of fun with this competition as a whole and NEVER expected to make it this far!
The ones I didn't use: