The Only Times I Approved of My Brother Dating a Sex Robot

“Caught myself before I asked Cal if he and Ashlynn were having safe sex. Wave of enduring relief on multiple levels washed over me.”


December 23: Cal revealed that he’d been seeing a girl all semester. He said he met her in one of his classes at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute.

December 25: Cal didn’t bring Ashlynn to Christmas dinner at our parents’ house, so he didn’t end up in a why-can’t-she-sleep-in-my-room fight like he did during every holiday season of the Jori Years.

January 15: I found out that Ashlynn watched all three Lord of the Rings extended editions with Cal, on two separate occasions, and never complained.

January 16: Caught myself before I asked Cal if he and Ashlynn were having safe sex. Wave of enduring relief on multiple levels washed over me.

January 17: Upon meeting her, I realized Ashlynn was Cal’s first girlfriend who spoke with a realistic human voice instead of affecting a squeaky “princess”-type tone.

January 21: Ashlynn was the ringer on our bar trivia team. We practically won.

February 2: Cal paid me back all $200 he owed me from our summer road trip, saying he was able to save up the money because this is the most cost-effective relationship he’s ever been in.

February 14: My grandfather disapproved of Ashlynn less than he disapproved of Tina, Cal’s former girlfriend of Laotian-American descent who he always called “Charlie.”

March 21: Ashlynn remembered my birthday.

March 22: Ashlynn turned out to be Facebook-compatible, less annoying than most of my existing Facebook friends, and a lot better at finding cool links.

April 3: Ashlynn didn’t get mad at Cal for not consulting her before he signed on to do that amazing yearlong fellowship in Japan next year.

April 4: Cal affirmed that he plans to stay in a committed relationship with Ashlynn, which showed he was finally maturing (although it might have just been practical, since he’d already voided her warranty).

April 5: Ashlynn proved to be adaptable to Cal’s fellowship, because Amazon sells a well-reviewed U.S./Japan plug adapter for $4.99.

April 17: Turns out most sex robots have a built-in Roomba function. Somehow Ashlynn got every weird hair off my Persian rug.

April 24: Ashlynn didn’t take Rachel’s side when I broke up with her, even though women often stick together in these situations.

April 27: After my tenth or so meal with Ashlynn, I realized she never does that thing where someone pretends to offer to pick up the check at a restaurant but then holds back enough so someone else ends up paying.

May 22: Ashlynn and Cal’s breakup was mutual, final, and without recriminations.

November 23: I came this close to jumping on a Day After Thanksgiving Sex Robot Sale at h.h. gregg, but then I remembered what Cal had told me about sex robots’ hidden maintenance costs, constant need for cleaning, and deadening effect on the owner’s idea of romance.

December 22: Cal introduced me to Madison, my human future sister-in-law.

Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

Alex Schmidt is a writer, editor, GIF-maker, stand-up comic, Twitter account holder, and filler-outer of bios.