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?
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,
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.
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.)
The other guests are either making themselves comfortable upstairs, where there is nothing for them,
or making themselves uncomfortable downstairs.
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.
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.).
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.
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 his first guess. Teenagers like to be out in the open where parents and law enforcement can find them.
Yeah, there’s lots of ’em.
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.
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.
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.
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 With High Self-Esteem genre, which for her is 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.
head to the park to reel in some fish, if you know what I mean.
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.
Aileen and Shu do occasionally have a normal mother-son relationship when they’re not trying to bone everyone. 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.
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.
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.
Her traits are Creative and Erratic.
Ok, go to the Spice Festival and hit on her.
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.
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.
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.