By A.J. Llewellyn
The phone calls started around noon yesterday.
"Mate," my best friend Tony - he of the er...confused sexual orientation - chortled down the phone at me. "Your brother's girlfriend sent me a nasty photo of herself. Mate! She's wearing nothing but black stockings and high heels and her legs are open...she gives me wood, AJ."
I was so stunned I could only respond with, "She didn't!"
"Oh yes." He sounded smug. "She wants me, AJ. She sexted me!"
Tony sighed. "You're such a bloody dinosaur." He sounded disappointed a few seconds later when he said, "Oh, she sent the photo to everyone. You got it too. Boy she's barking up the wrong tree there, eh?"
She sent it to me? I happened to be online and I checked my emails. Nope, nothing. I hadn't recognized her email address and had sent her to spam. I opened the file and almost fell on the floor. My brother's girlfriend had sent what was obviously supposed to be a private message for him - to the entire world!
Many of my my family members had received it, judging by the laundry list of email addresses. Oh My God...my father had it...and my dour Greek aunt, the matriarch of the family. My father no doubt would think it was hot, the lecherous old coot...but my aunt...
Tony was enjoying the whole drama as it unfolded before our eyes. He busied himself forwarding the pic to every guy he knows and I quickly called my brother in Paris who rarely picks up the phone. He usually texts me by way of response.
I am not a texter. I spend enough time on the computer as it is so it's a pleasure for me to actually speak on the phone to someone I love. Besides which, I am just not that quick with my thumbs. It takes me ten years to text a simple sentence.
This time my brother believed my urgent message and called me right back. He was dismayed when I relayed the news.
"She keeps doing that," he sighed. "She hits reply all." He paused. "Isn't she a sexy little thing, though?"
Er...as they say in Hawaii, "Whatevahs."
My brother stopped seeing the funny side as the photo started making its way around the globe. His art gallery partners received it, her parents received it, apparently aghast that she'd posed for the pic on their country home bed.
"My duvet!" her mother apparently screamed.
And then my other brother called me. "How do I respond?" he asked me, balancing three kids and two cell phones from a cafe in Hong Kong. "I mean...geez...she leaves nothing to the imagination."
"Don't respond," I insisted. "Pretend you didn't see it."
"What do you mean? She likes me, AJ. She's got the hots for me."
"No, she doesn't. It was a mistake." My married brother who is apparently hurtling toward a midlife identity crisis way too early, hung up on me.
My father also called me wondering about sexting etiquette.
"She's so French! Do I send a smiley face? What do I say? Hubba Hubba?" he wondered.
"Please dad," I moaned. "Pretend you deleted it. Leave the girl some dignity."
"Dignity?" My father snorted nastily. "She threw that out the window when she took off her panties and opened her legs, AJ."
My Greek aunt called me late in the afternoon. By this stage, my brother's girlfriend was in her hotel room in London, devastated that the whole world had seen her private sext message.
"Andy," my aunt said, though her heavy accent makes it sound like Endy. "What this crazy girl send me? Is this file okay to download?"
"Hold on," I said, since I was on the other end of the line. I ended the call and clicked back over, but not quickly enough. My aunt, determined to join the e parade, is taking computer classes at Valley Tech College and got her teacher to open the file.
"Andy," my aunt was breathing heavily down the phone. I could hear hoots of laughter in the background. I wondered how many people were now staring at my brother's girlfriend.
To show you how cracked my entire family is, my aunt said, "Andy, I can see everything. I can see what she had for breakfast!"
Her voice dropped. "Why she send me this? I no like the ladies!"