The Time I Sexted My Mom

The Time I Sexted My Mom

by Matthew J.X. Malady

People drop things on the Internet and run all the time. So we have to ask. In this edition, writer Beejoli Shah tells us more about what it’s like to send a sext to your mom by mistake.

Today will forever be the terrifying day I accidentally sexted my mom

— Beejoli Shah (@beejoli) October 18, 2014

Beejoli! So what happened here?

So, before I get fully into this, it’s important to know two things about me:

1. My mom and I text. A lot. To the point that I once deleted two years worth of text chains on my iPhone, except the one with her, to free up storage space, and I didn’t gain a single ounce of space on my phone. That’s how many texts we’ve sent each other. It’s perhaps a bit excessive.

2. I rarely pay close attention to the non-important things I’m doing. Like, say, watching where I walk so as not to trip on the loose step in my stairwell nearly every day. Or, you know, making sure I pick the right person to text. Or sext. You get the idea.

So! It was a Saturday like any other, and I was lounging around in bed doing my second favorite in-bed activity: watching Gilmore Girls. (First favorite is sleeping, third favorite is blogging — get your minds outta the gutter.) I was texting up a storm with my mom about my favorite topic: gossiping about my older sister, while also juggling a few scattered texts from friends about that evening’s plans. One of said scattered texts was to a guy I’d been hanging out with, trying to convince him to come out that night. After all the traditional arm-twisting (“It’ll be fun!” “Just don’t drink that much?” and a healthy dose of passive-aggressiveness) had failed, I knew I had to up the ante: sext time. Unfortunately, I am a pretty terrible sexter, and while I can assure you that no one on the Internet or elsewhere wants to see my boobs, I also don’t want to make it any easier for someone unintended to find them…so I sent a fairly tame partially-clothed picture insofar as the annals of millennial sexting go, but definitely not the type of thing you’d want landing in the hands of someone who doesn’t see you in various states of undress regularly.

But somewhere between perfecting a tweet in my head about just how annoying Lorelai Gilmore actually is when you watch Gilmore Girls as an adult, toggling between texts about dinner plans, and planning my hostile takeover from prodigal daughter to most favorite Shah child, I didn’t notice that I had toggled over one text too far and texted my mom. The realization dawned on me pretty instantly, and while I debated going with a “Oh, I just bought this new bra, what do you think?” I knew that my mom was too smart for that to work. (After all, this is a woman who I’ve written about multiple times on the Internet for giving the best dating and sex advice of all time.) I instead went for a combo of “OH MY GOD THAT WASN’T FOR YOU G2G BYEEEEE” and threw my phone across the room into my laundry basket, hoping that it had somehow morphed into a time machine since the last time I washed and folded. To her credit, my mom glossed right past it with a casual “Okay bye,” because I suppose as much as she wanted to scold me about the perils of sexting, she only has herself to blame: She did remind me recently that I’m twenty-seven and still single. She very well may have brought this lame attempt at seduction upon herself.

Just how awkward have things been between you and your mom since? And, also, did you ever end up going back in and sending the message to the right person?

Surprisingly, not that awkward! My mom and I have a pretty great relationship, especially when it comes to issues surrounding my love life. We’re no Rory and Lorelai, but this is a woman who once walked in on me hooking up with my high school boyfriend (at the time, my SECRET high school boyfriend) on the living room couch, and these days it’s become a punch line for her about how dumb I was to not have the foresight to send him home earlier, when I knew she’d be home by five. I get the sense she’s probably not that thrilled about it, and is biting her tongue on trying to over-parent me about “Look what happened to poor Jennifer Lawrence,” but let’s be honest: Who wants to be the person who goes, “Hey, so about that sext…”

I never did go back to resending that sext, not just because I had learned my lesson, but, well, it took me so long to think of the first one, I didn’t have a better second sexy text in my arsenal. And you can’t sext someone with the sext you sent your mom. We’re not Hapsburgs, after all.

Lesson learned (if any)?

Really, really pay attention to who you’re texting. If anyone, I blame iOS 8 for this. That little top nav toggle bar that shows the last eight people you texted by their initials might be useful in theory, but given that everyone I text somehow pulls from the same 6–8 letters for their initials, things can get dicey real fast. Also, never sext. Sexting is terrible.

Just one more thing.

As if I hadn’t already learned my lesson, I accidentally sexted my mom again a week later. On the day of Diwali, the Indian new year. In response to her “Happy Diwali!!” text. It was much, much worse. I don’t think my parents will keep paying my phone bill much longer.

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Matthew J.X. Malady is a writer and editor who was in New York but is now in Berkeley.