6.05.2008

Not to be indelicate…

Open my personal daytimer to any month and you will find a certain week, flagged as particular, personally marked with hand-written stars. If you are a woman reading this post, I don’t have to tell you why one week out of every month is significant. You already know and may even have devised a similar system for keeping track of your constant companion, the curse of Lilith.

After last month’s miscarriage, I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to start penciling in my period once again. For some women, menstruation returns within 28 days--as if nothing ever happened their bodies. For others, it takes longer and serves as a painful reminder of what could have been.

For obvious reasons and because Dr. Sych advised me to wait at least three, full, cycles before trying to conceive, I was hoping to fall in the lucky, first class of women. After all, I’m now 40.5-years old. My biological, and most definitely analog, clock continues to tick down. Every month is precious and should not to be wasted.

So, needless to say, I was relieved when I pulled out the old, pencil sharpener right on schedule. This means we only have to wait two more months before trying to get pregnant again. But until that day comes, Max and I have had to concern ourselves with something we haven’t had to worry about for a long time—that is, NOT getting pregnant.

Yes, I'm taking safe, not necessarily the most free and spontaneous, sex, people.

Given our circumstances, birth control pills and abstinence weren’t good options, leaving Max and I, unfortunate, unprepared, and rushing off to the nearest gas station at 10 o’clock one night. Wouldn't you know--while my night stand contained a daytimer, pencil, and sharpener, it didn't offer any condoms.

We felt like teenagers again, trying to act casual as we made our way to the prophylactic rack. The only problem is it is impossible to appear nonchalant when looking at rubbers packaged in a language you don’t understand.

Far from prudish, even I became uncomfortable after standing in front of the display for new fewer than 20 minutes as we tried to make decision. It didn’t help the clerk kept glancing over in our direction.

“Oh, just grab anything.” I finally said exasperated.

Unfortunately, Max and I couldn’t really blame our language teacher for the ignorance we showed. When we got home, I checked my German textbook for the all-important “Condoms: Ribbed or Flavored?” chapter. It isn’t there.

The experience sort of killed my mood that evening, but at least we were stocked for the long haul. Oh, trust me--for a host of reasons, two months feels like the long, but well protected, haul.

22 comments:

Neil said...

At the gas station?! The gas stations near me mostly have old hot dogs and beer.

meno said...

Those damned language dictionaries never contain the stuff you really need!

Diane Mandy said...

Neil - at 10 o'clock at night it's the only thing open here in Germany! Trust me, we didn't go for the selection!

Sizzle said...

That'd kill my mood too. Those language books should really cover condom purchasing in more depth.

Jill said...

I have to ask the questions... What kind did you end up with? Ribbed? Flavored? Colored?

And let's be honest... can you REALLY tell a difference if it's ribbed... because it is for "her" pleasure anyway.

The smell of condoms kills the mood for me... though I do appreciate that I'm the one who doesn't have to do the "cleaning".

brandy said...

See, I always find that I never can find the right word in those damned dictionaries either. I once went looking for 'masturbate' (long story and not nearly as interesting or hot as a person would think) and I could not find it. Hope you got what you wanted. :)

Dan-E said...

you know, feeling like teenagers might not be a bad thing. how about you run with it and try to have sex in your car?

(yes i know you have a mini, but it's not impossible. trust me.)

kenju said...

I had a friend once who was told by her husband to buy condoms. She went to the pharmacy (a fairly new bride) and asked for a month's supply. The pharmacist asked her how many times a month she was planning to use one, and she didn't know whether to run away or cry!
At least you didn't have THAT problem....LOL

NotSamantha said...

*makes note to collaborate on sex dictionary in english to german*

Always remember when going to buy condoms you have to own the section, peruse them, pick up the boxes and then just as coolly select one and look the pharmacist directly in the eye when you pay.

Diane Mandy said...

Jill- We ended up with your run-of-the-mill condom. And no, I can't really tell the difference. One type is as bad as the other!

karey m. said...

oh my. i may skip this comment altogether after reading the rest...but i will tell you i love your pic! you look elegant.

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Thank you for the laugh. What is it about buying condoms that makes happily married people feel like that? :)

Charlotte said...

OK, first of all: The next time, try a Beate Uhse shop. They should be just around the corner somewhere in your town.

Also, the Lonely Planet Phrasebook has a section on dating. And wouldn't you believe it, ribbed or flavored? Totally in there. Right before the "how to break up after a one-night stand" section. I'm not kidding.

ms chica said...

We tend to shop for those after consuming half a pitcher of margaritas. It takes the edge of the uptight side of being married. One brand being equally as disappointing as another, reading the box seems to be optional. Just admire the shiny pictures on the packaging.

Simple Answer said...

The only thing to look for in a condom? To buy one with no holes.

mrsmogul said...

Good luck on your babymaking. Three cycles? I always heard it was two! I was on the pill but not sure what to do later on after this one pops out.

Cheryl said...

Congrats on not having to wait longer, any way. I never really thought about what it must be like to buy condoms in another language. Interesting...

Just a trumpet player said...

I was going to mention the Lonely Planet books but got beat to it! It's got the 'I think you're hot let's have sex' section, the condom one, as well as the 'think you've got and STD' section. Really usefull...

Dianne said...

Welcome to my single world! Even in English I don't know what the hell I'm doing!!

and then they sit so long - staring at me with pity and judgement.

Rachel said...

Best of luck with your baby-making endeavors.

Knowing my luck, I would've gotten home and opened the box to a bunch of rubber gloves. Do they even show pictures on condom boxes?

Jean Ann said...

You are so freaking funny! I worked for an HIV/AIDS organization...
actually, a couple,so I have seen all kinds of condoms...:)

Chica said...

I remember Boyf and I having to explain in our appalling French what we wanted in a pharmacy whilst on holiday. It took some cringeworthy miming from Boyf until the guy from the counter clicked "Ah, preservatif!" We would've gone home with toothpaste at that point!