The Jensen-Liu Family: New Beginnings, or at least Sleeping with New People

Let’s see what Aileen is up to while her ex is being deliriously happy with his new fiancé.

Shu’s ready to age up, which can only mean one thing: there’s about to be an extremely awkward party up in here and all his mom’s friends are invited! This shitshow needs to be appreciated from its ideal vantage point, which is very, very far away.

Let’s break down everything happening here. On top, Shu aging up in front of his mom and no one else. Left center, two of his mom’s friends watching his dad’s new dead partner, who does not have the Comedy skill, doing standup. Right center, Mike trolling the internet. Bottom, his mom’s new astronaut love interest using the treadmill at a child’s birthday party while Bennett Good inexplicably watches. Nowhere, Shu’s dad. What’s he up to?

He really missed those plants.

But Shu can’t let a little thing like reality get him down! He ages up into one of his mom’s traits, Neat, and the aspiration Serial Romantic.

Why Serial Romantic? It felt right. Besides,

DAAAAAAAAAMN.

In 30 days, he is going to be such a dish—just like the cake that finally attracted guests to the main event. Not his mom, who is too tired for this; and not his dad, who isn’t done saying hi to all the plants.

tfw you’re watching a ghost tell jokes and it makes you want to do pushups

Aileen eventually realized it was inappropriate to take a nap at her only son’s birthday party. Besides, Costco ordered too much man candy, and she hasn’t gotten her free sample yet. (This is their first date, btw.)

Shu tells people he has 1.5 dads.

The other guests are either making themselves comfortable upstairs, where there is nothing for them,

unless you like hanging out in kid’s rooms, toddler’s rooms, art studios, or unfaithful spouse shame rooms,

or making themselves uncomfortable downstairs.

If you’ve ever wondered whether parties can beg for the sweet release of death, well, now you know.

Mercifully, the party ended, leaving the guests on their own to forget what took place tonight. The atmosphere of the Jensen-Liu household dwindled from hot mess to regular mess.

Xiyuan went inside the house for like, one hour.

Shu’s room got a makeover, from non-matching kids-room blues to the inside-of-a-raspberry optimistic love dome we’re going to call the Age-Inappropriate Boudoir (A.I.B.).

Spot the last thing his dad painted before leaving.

Luckily for Shu, he aged up the day before the Romance Festival. What luck! Shu locates his tealest pair of glasses, powers through two cans of Axe, and heads over.

Too bad there were no teenagers at the Romance Festival.

My closest guess for what those math diagrams are is either “graph theory” or “wooooo science is happening,” like when videos show experimentalists pouring different colored water into beakers.

Derrick (Athletic, probably Self-Assured, don’t remember or care) definitely has chemistry with Aileen. They both exercise a lot! They are similar in age. They, uh, occupy similar positions in space. Aileen is fortunate to get along so well with the one dateable bachelor in her entire world; that, and she has no ulterior motives for wanting to be in a relationship.

Shu knows that all cool kids get painting lessons at the Romance Festival (with both parents in attendance, to boot!), so he wasn’t disappointed—except they don’t, and he was. He had to succeed in what Charlie had failed to do, finding where other teenagers hang out. Magnolia Promenade was our first guess. Teenagers like to be out in the open where parents and law enforcement can find them.

i made burgers, does anyone want burgers

Yeah, there’s lots of ’em.

Charlie will never forgive him if he swoops in on Cruz.

Shu takes a moment to weigh his options. Elsa (Genius, Cheerful, Swedish) is a fantastic choice. They’re friends. However, when I encouraged him to flirt with her, he stared blankly at her for ten minutes, then cancelled the interaction. Poor baby.

It took me a second to figure out where Shu was in this screenshot, that’s how well his outfit blends in with the scenery.

Genevieve (Dance Machine, Neat) is a little kicky, a little kooky, and Shu gets along with her just fine. Unfortunately, he ran into her an hour after chickening out. We decided it was still too early to try anything. For now, he’s just window shopping, practicing talking to girls until his palms stop sweating so much.

Genevieve doesn’t get a makeover. If she wants to pull off a red dress with hot pink tights and black pantyhose, she can pull off a red dress with hot pink tights and black pantyhose.

On the other end of the aggressive flirting spectrum is Shannon Bheeda (Hot-Headed, Vegetarian), who made damn well sure Shu was at her birthday party, and invited absolutely no one else.

“I love getting all this attention,” she said, eyeing him like the last creampuff at the buffet.

Ultimately, Shu did nothing but weigh his options and stare at people’s shoes. He might be doomed to spend his life trying to complete his first aspiration; he might be waiting for someone special, we don’t know. Let’s label him as a failed project for now and move on.

Meanwhile, Aileen is free to self-improve/love thanks to excellent coparenting from Xiyuan.

Aileen is a powerful goddess warrior. She sends out such strong positive vibes, in fact, even the former Miss Universe was inspired to step away from the bar.

Aileen is wellness incarnate. Aileen only listens to music in the Women of Color Having High Self-Esteem genre, which for her is just the Simlish version of “Worship” on repeat. (For additional sweet vibes, though, play “Fitness” while looking at the image above and pretend it’s diegetic.) She doesn’t need anyone, but if she wants to get her rocks off, she can.

The side-by-side comparison doesn’t lie, those are some very tiny pants he has on
She got this whim immediately after the closet WooHoo was over. GIRL, I FEEL YOU

Liu Crew,

i.e. Charlie trying his best to look turnt and Shu practicing DreamWorks Face,

head to the park to reel in some fish, if you know what I mean.

This is what I meant.

Aileen is concerned about where Shu goes all day, but not concerned enough to punish him, or, heaven forfend, keep an eye on him every once in a while.

To her credit, she did keep an eye on him, but it was a side-eye and she was cosplaying as Steve Jobs.

Aileen and Shu do occasionally stop trying to bone everyone and try to have a normal mother-son relationship. Magnet-school-prep-extra-credit-for-fun Shu somehow forgot to do his homework for some reason (see: the Liu sledgehammer approach to sexual awakening), and Aileen is helping get him back on track.

Wait—that’s the problem!

Shu was so focused on growing up, he forgot who he was! He’s Xiyuan’s protégé, for heck’s sakes! He grew up learning every possible artistic discipline; nay, he was a child violin prodigy! If he can’t talk to girls yet, he’ll bust out his father’s violin and speak with his bow.

Mariana Bloom (Glutton, Neat): yeah, this is working for me

The magic of the violin caused a girl in a blue dress to teleport behind him and go from 0-100 undressing him with her eyes. Now she’s just standing 9 feet behind him, waiting for him to notice her.

Which is a goddamn power move, especially for someone who materialized out of the aether to meet a dude

Shu calls her over; she introduces herself as Chantel Lucas. More importantly, even though Shu is wrapped up in conversation with Mariana, everything about Chantel’s body language screams THIS IS MINE NOW. Look at her! She’s mentally peeing around him in a circle. She’s going to lick him so no one else can have him.

“Oh, hi! I was standing in that spot for a normal amount of time. I got there by walking.”

Her traits are Creative and Erratic.

She’s PERFECT.

Ok, go to the Spice Festival and hit on her.

He’s killing it! To be fair, he could spend the entire date talking about MLMs or bus chair patterns and Chantel would still be throwing herself at him.

Shu doesn’t have any trouble complimenting or kissing Chantel; something about her is special. (Some idiot didn’t take a screenshot of their first kiss.) As they both careen through relationship milestones at the speed of hormones, neither of them stop to process what’s happening.

Shu can’t go on his first date without one of his parents crashing it, of course. Chantel is just stoked to be meeting his parents already.
Aileen even snuck in without asking to cover the mixologist’s shift. (Both interpretations of this sentence make sense.)

The date continues with Chantel and Shu playing some B-ball together (read: attended a joint therapy session), flirting the whole time, until they’re ready to take the next step in their relationship.

Woo! They met earlier that day!

This is where we end: Aileen, Chantel, and Shu went home; presumably to hack something to an unending loop of “Worship,” write “Mrs. Xishu Liu” in all the margins of her notebooks and put teal glasses on a body pillow, and be a teenage boy, respectively.

We’ll have to wait until next time to see how having one partner each works out for Aileen and Shu.

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