Just Write: In the Superama

June 5, 2012

He digs through the suitcase, baffled. “I swear, I brought it,” he says.

“I thought I brought it,” I say, equally puzzled. It was on The List.*

“Well, either we both screwed up or it’s been vaporized by aliens,” he says, pointing to the empty suitcase. “Nada.”

This is a situation.

It’s especially a situation because someone (ahem) had icky, painful surgery 8 weeks ago and–is there any delicate way to say this?

The Vaginal Drive-In has been closed for over 56 days and my doctor, the day before we left for Mexico, gave me the thumbs up. Open for business. “No fancy tricks though,” he admonishes, grinning. “Don’t go out and buy a saddle and a gallon of motor oil or anything.”

I look at my doctor’s very expensive, very Italian, very high-fashion leather shoes and wonder what he knows about saddles and motor oil. People are such mysteries.


But see here, dear Readers, the fact is that The Vaginal Drive-In has been out of order so long that we’re going to need some Help, here. The Help and I have had issues before, and while that was humiliating enough, having to wander over to the Superama and blatantly seek out the Help is not something I really want to do. Especially when my Spanish skills consist of “‘banos?’ ‘cerveza’ and ‘gracias.'”


I seek out the overpriced hotel sundries shop. No luck. I am kind of annoyed by this. The darn store carries wart removal cream but no Help? Puh-leeze. Which is the more dire situation, I ask you?

So the Superama it is. 300 pesos, round trip, and our driver, Marco, promises to wait one hour for us to finish our shopping and then pull up to the curb to take us back to the hotel. Now one hour seems like a good deal, but when my female partner-in-crime and I really think about it, we don’t speak Spanish and the Superama is strange and vastly unorganized, and we’re on a budget, so our list of necessary things is long. We are, after all, traveling with children, who need sustenance every half hour and eat only white food.

My friend, bless her, understands my predicament and does most of the shopping while I pillage the wine aisle and troll several times through the toiletries aisles, to no avail.

I grab a few tubes of things and bring them up to her for inspection.

“Do you think this would work?”

“I think that’s anti-bacterial ointment. Like, Neosporin.”

“What about this?”

“Is that foundation primer?”

“You know? I think so. Ack.”


My friend is off seeking Nutella and I am still seeking Help and there is nothing in sight. Time’s a-wasting here, and I’m suddenly struck with the fact that I’m actually going to have to ask someone for help with this little purchase. I look around and all of the employees in sight are male. Young males, who eerily remind me of Awesome Stepkid Ro.

I take a deep breath, approach one of the males, and…totally chicken out and ask him where I can find the soft granola bars. In a stroke of fortune, he cannot understand me, nor can the other closest male employees within distance. The worker grabs his walkie-talkie, blasts a few things in staccato, and assures me that someone more fluent in English is on the way.

That someone is, blessedly, a woman. A  hefty woman about fifty years of age. I ask her politely for the granola bar aisle, which she leads me to in about two seconds. I grab a box of granola bars that I don’t need and smile my thanks and then she tilts her head a little. “Anything else I help you with?”

I look into her brown eyes, grab her arm, and lean into her sheepishly.

Then I start to giggle. I can’t help it. It’s too ridiculous. She smiles in return, patting my shoulder encouragingly. “S’okay,” she says. “What you need, Senorita?”

That she calls me ‘Senorita’ instead of ‘Senora’ makes me love her even more.  I gulp air and say the first thing that comes to mind.

“Ummmm…Sexytime?”  I cringe as I say it, but can’t help but burst into mirth.

Thank you, Sascha Baron Cohen and that Borat movie for making ‘Sexytime’ an International household term.

She smiles widely in recognition and laughs a little.  “Ah. Ah-ha. Ummm? Condom?”

Now I’m really laughing and so is she. “No, no, I say. Oh God, this is so embarrassing.”  I lean into her and suddenly she is embracing me, patting me on the back.

“No shame, Girl,” she says, loosening her hold, gently taking my forearms and looking me firmly in the eye. “What you need?”

“Okay. Um. Lub-ree-cah…cion?”  Shit. Is that even a word in Spanish?

She cackles, slings her arm around my shoulders, and takes me to a little glass case where items are locked inside. She takes out a key, hands me my tiny bottle of lube, and then proceeds to lock it up again in a see-through container about the size of a fireplace.

“You good to check out now,” she winks at me. “No shame, okay?”


I push my grocery cart with the gi-normous container that shouts “Sexytime!” standing front and center. My friend is seeking out pretzels, and when I find her, she looks at the tiny tube in the audacious container and, because she is nicer than most humans, only raises her eyebrows.

On the cab ride back to the hotel, I tell her everything in hushed tones, so Marco doesn’t overhear us.

My friend has the decorum not to laugh; she smiles, though, and places her delicate hand on my knee, shaking her head. “Awww, Dangit. I am so pissed off that I missed that.”

*The List is something very, very anal that I do before every trip. I blame it on the German side of my heritage. Two days before departure, I begin making The List. Because, you know, mommies have to pack for everyone. I write down every possible thing I might need/forget for the trip. Except, naturally, the Help.

{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes June 5, 2012 at 4:44 am

I cannot help it but I am convulsing with laughter.
Sexytime *snort*.
You think you are anal? I’m not leaving until August 18th and I have already started my List. And no ‘help’ is not on it, but the other one… yup.


TKW June 5, 2012 at 7:31 pm


Where are you going that requires such anal diligence?


Sherri June 5, 2012 at 4:53 am

I will now be sneaking “sexytime” into my conversation at some point today – just for the hell of it. I was going to make some lame joke about being back in the saddle, but…. your story is so much better….. My hubby is Peruvian – fluent in Spanish – and… I’m not even sure he knows how to say “lub…ree….cah…cion” in Spanish. Hmmmm…… You always crack me up, btw.


TKW June 5, 2012 at 7:30 pm


If he knows, I want the info!


Abby June 5, 2012 at 5:51 am

Well, when I read “My friend is off seeking Nutella,” I was about to give you HUGE bonus points for being creatively delicious in your, um, makeshift accommodations ;) Glad everything worked out well for Seniorita’s Sexytime!


TKW June 5, 2012 at 7:29 pm


I love a girl who has her mind in the NutellaGutter.


Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon June 5, 2012 at 6:23 am

And this is exactly why we love you.

I must now start using the phrase sexytime.


TKW June 5, 2012 at 7:28 pm


I expect it in your next post. Stat! :)


Dawn June 5, 2012 at 7:25 am

Can you please write a book? Because I would for sure buy one!


TKW June 5, 2012 at 7:28 pm


Thank you. I’d love to write a book someday, but I am still trying to figure out how to say “lube” in Spanish. xo


Jenna June 5, 2012 at 8:30 am

Hahaha! I love your story. It reminds me of a time in Madrid when I had to buy tampons (locked behind the counter in a pharmacy–why????) from an embarassingly young man. There were definitely convulsions of laughter between me and the sis’s.


TKW June 5, 2012 at 7:26 pm


Just you wait, beautiful young thing. Tampons are child’s play. :)


Jennifer June 5, 2012 at 8:32 am

This is perfection. I love that you shared this story. I love even more that you went to the store and actually asked for what you needed. You are a brave, brave woman.


TKW June 5, 2012 at 7:25 pm


Not brave. Just a big blabberer.


Arnebya June 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I have tears. Literally. Sexytime is indeed universal. But I’m glad you were able to ask because um, 56 days and then day 57 without help? SHID. That’d be very much an entirely different sit-u-a- cion. And tell your friend not to feel bad; even if she’d found it, the Awesome Stepkid Ro impersonators likely would have had to come open it.

Separately, my boy calls the stroller “the help.” Vastly different and will totally make me giggle now.


TKW June 5, 2012 at 7:24 pm


Girl, you always crack me up. The stroller is SO not the Help. I love it.


Jessica June 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Openly laughing and wiping away tears – Addie wanted to know if I was ok! Sounds like you ladies had quite the adventures in Mexico, at least you didn’t lose your bathing suit bottoms while gallavanting with a sea mammal;)


TKW June 5, 2012 at 7:21 pm


She loses her swimsuit, I troll for lube. Fair trade, eh?


suzicate June 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm

My friend has the decorum not to laugh; she smiles, though, and places her delicate hand on my knee, shaking her head. “Awww, Dangit. I am so pissed off that I missed that.”- Now, that’s a good friend; exactly what I’d do or expect from my friend!


TKW June 5, 2012 at 7:19 pm


I love that she did that, and that you would do that, or know someone who reacts that way.

Me (the oversharer) would have been loud and obnoxious, as always.


Robin June 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm

I haven’t seen the Borat movie, but I love the phrase ‘sexytime’, Senorita! This was so funny! Thank you for such a wonderful laugh. My husband is wondering what’s going on in my office.

I totally get the ‘List’…and I typically overlook at least one item even when I double check it. But I can’t say I have ever had such a funny story to tell from one overlooked and forgotten item!


TKW June 5, 2012 at 7:17 pm


Try finding laxatives in Greece. Good times, girl. Luckily, I have no shame.


Jamie June 5, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Dying!! What a story. I too put “the Help” on every vacation list (with the sexpectations on vacations, I’m convinced every girl could use a little Help.) I recently went to Chicago to meet my boyfriends parents for the first time, and wouldn’t you know, the Help exploded inside my toiletries bag. And the house only had one bathroom for me to take out all my things and meticulously wash them in!! Nightmare.


TKW June 5, 2012 at 7:15 pm

This is why you always buy a new, hermetically-sealed, new vial of Help before you leave. No explosions. Just remember to pack the dang thing.


Not a Perfect Mom June 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

sexytime?! ha! I would have loved to have been there…
and I can’t believe the help is locked up….I never would have guessed….
and you know she told the story of the crazy lady with the lube to all of her friends….


TKW June 5, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Not A Perfect,

No need to tell. The gi-normous plastic carton (with a lock on it!) said it all! Jeez.


Maria June 5, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Oh. My. God.

And just so you know, even though I am fluent in Spanish, there is no way that situation would have been helped by actually speaking Spanish. Thank God that you were able to find “The Help” with some good luck and a woman who understands such situations!

Hope you all had a good time and that this episode was the only fly in the ointment!


TKW June 5, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Well, there was the barf-o-rama on the plane home, but at least it wasn’t my kid hurling. :)


Melissa June 5, 2012 at 6:59 pm

That is so funny.

We just got from vacation and b/c of my recent miscarriage we are under strict orders to not get pregnant (aka use protection). My almost 40 year old husband cannot buy condoms on his own….unless he can go somewhere with a self checkout, he expects me to pick them up while shopping with three kids. When I forgot, and he was all like…but…what…I simple said, the List…it wasn’t on the list…. :-)

Thanks for the laugh tonight’


TKW June 5, 2012 at 7:11 pm


I love your blog and am so glad you came by. I, too, was under instructions to wait, but we didn’t. And BAM. So I say, follow your heart and your libido, my friend. You never know.


Heather June 5, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Ok, before I dive into this I must thank you for explaining to me where my NEED for “The List” came from! Crazy Germans!
Your vacations never cease to provide me opportunities to laugh at your expense. I can’t help but picture you, sweet Dana, trying to ask the overweight Spanish chica for lube! I’m dying, truly, as I type this. I hope Mexico was nothing but ups (or downs if you prefer ;)) after that! love ya!


TKW June 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm


Love you back. There were a few “plane issues” on the way back, but nothing like the terrors of before. *grateful exhale*


Phoo-d June 5, 2012 at 8:09 pm

I’m snorting with laughter over here! So funny. I can’t imagine trying to ask for lube in a Spanish supermart. Sounds like your vacation was a good one! So glad you got a needed break. xoxo


TKW June 6, 2012 at 6:12 am


I need new pics of that baby!! Miss you.


Katybeth June 5, 2012 at 8:27 pm

There is no way I could have asked..NO EFFEN WAY. I am so impressed! Isn’t it nice, tho, that women speak the same language more or less no matter what country they are in…..


TKW June 6, 2012 at 6:13 am


That’s true–viva the modern woman!


faemom June 5, 2012 at 11:12 pm

I’ve missed you so terribly. (Stupid reality with all its stupid responsibilities) And this was a brilliant post to come back to. OMG! You’re brave and amazing. And I love that woman.


TKW June 6, 2012 at 6:13 am


I thought she was a pretty cool chick, myself!


Liz @ PeaceLoveGuac June 6, 2012 at 12:38 pm

This just made my day! So hilariously fantastic!


CK June 7, 2012 at 3:00 am

I’m thinking we should suggest they start selling Sexytime in big, plastic boxes here, too.

(And between your Sexytime and my Stripping with Dolphins, I think we’ve set the bar for all vacations to come.)


Jen @ momalom June 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Oh I adore you. I hope day 57 was a (gentle) blast!


Pamela June 10, 2012 at 7:43 pm

This may be my favorite thing you have ever written, but then, I say that about everything you have ever written. No shame. Tears in my eyes. Love.


Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri June 10, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Oh Kitch. I love how you can take something so delicate and make it your own. You’ve got moxie my friend. Loved this.


Naptimewriting June 12, 2012 at 12:15 am

Actually snorted.
Sexytime? Never in twelve million years would I think of phrasing it that way.
I would have sent the male instead, because if he wants sexytime, he can ask the teen Superama employees how to facilitate sexytime.
And I totally would have just bought olive oil to avoid asking. And that is why I won’t have any sexytime for a while. ;-)


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