Monday, May 10, 2010

Have I Mentioned...?

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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!!!

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1 comment:

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. :)