Have I Mentioned...?


Have I mentioned that it is my favorite ritual?  Going to the mikvah?  The act of preparing oneself for a transition.  Preparing.  Not by adding to in order to mask -- makeup, clothes, hair gel.  Stripping down to the essence -- making sure there is no barrier between the self and the water. It is a ritual I take very seriously.  I spend at least a 1/2 hour removing make up, nail polish, clipping nails, removing dirt, combing my hair.  Then I spend 1/2 hour soaking in the bathtub.  Once I get to the mikvah, I go over the checklist they have to make sure I have left nothing out.  Then I take a warm shower, wash my hair, re-comb it and then, only then, I am ready.

Thursday was mikvah day.  I did all the usual preparations.  It was especially nice because Rob took the kids out of the house so that I could have a relaxing and serene preparation.  Once at the mikvah, and after the final prepping, I rang the bell and slipped the sign "Ready" under the door.  Unusual Item 1:  It happens that I needed to wait four more minutes before I could immerse as it was not yet nightfall.  The time came.

I entered the mikvah area.   Unusual Item 2:  I forgot to put the little paper sandals on.  Not a big deal, but I have never forgotten to put them on before.  I descended down the stairs and into the water.  It was, of course, warm and welcoming.  I immersed the first time and said the bracha.  I immersed again, waited to here the familiar "kosher" indicating that I had immersed correctly, but instead was greeted with, "Um, did you wear..." then she pointed to her eyes.  "Come up and look in the mirror," she said gently.

Unusual Item 3:  Leaving the mikvah after one immersion.  I walked up the stairs, silently.  Ran to the mirror--oh yeah, baby!  I looked like Alice Cooper!  Black running down my face.  Quickly, I wiped and cleaned and wiped again.  Done!  I walked briskly back out to the mikvah.  Down the stairs, into the water, and heard, "Dip two more times, no bracha."  I immersed two more times.  "Once more," she said.  I immersed a third time and was done.

Wow! I have never had that happen before and I hope I never do again.  How embarrassing!!!



Rach said…
OMG! How horrifying! Maybe we should build our BA mikvah that we have been planning so that you don't have to go back there?!? ;)

Although I am not kidding about building our BA mikvah, I am sure that that stuff happens all the time. :)