Ok readers, I have given this warning but I will give it again. I will occasionally talk/write about mikvah, and clearly, this post is one of those times. If you are of the mindset that it is inappropriate to do so, stop reading and come back to see what Jessica writes tomorrow, though last I heard she may also be writing about mikvah 😉
While at both of my local mikvaot (plural for mikvah) you can immerse on Shabbat and Chagim (holidays), because you should not delay your immersion, I do not live within realistic walking distance of them. Its about 5 miles to one and 4 to the other, the first through a neighborhood I don’t want to be walking in after dark alone, the second through a business district with very few lights to enable me to see at dark. Needless to say, I am not the only person in this city with this problem. So one would think that around Pesach, when there are many days women may not be able to make it to the mikvah and they may already be delaying their immersion, a mikvah would have some extra hours. Apparently, not mine.
I requested* to have my time about an hour and a half after what I assumed to be the approximate immersion time and said if it couldn’t be then, it had to be about an hour and a half earlier. (9:30 and 8pm respectively — I had something unmovable in that middle time block.) When I get the call back I am told I can only be scheduled at 9pm. When I press further I find out that immersion time is shortly after 8pm and they are not scheduling any appointments after 9pm. Seriously? You are only allowing one hour in a period of time in which there are conceivably five days on which women cannot come to immerse? You are potentially making women break one of the holiest commandments because you don’t want to stay late? Seriously? Ugh. I got pretty mad pretty fast, but tried to not take it out on the scheduler, I knew it wasn’t the Mikvah Manager and this woman probably had no say in it. She made a compromise with me of 9:15, and I even arrived a few minutes early. She was nice when I arrived but made a point of telling me that I was the only person there. Thanks lady, like I didn’t figure that out from your casualness about putting me in a room, instead of hurriedly shuffling me down the hall lest I see anyone else….
All in all, it was a fine mikvah experience in the end, though I was so flustered from the whole experience I had a hard time really finding the connection with Gd I normally strive for through the entire process.
Has anyone else has a mikvah experience that was so upsetting it took the spirituality out of the experience?
*Aside: Scheduling mikvah is a somewhat weird process to me. You leave a message on an answering machine saying when you want to dunk and then someone calls you back to tell you when you will actually be able to go. My messages are always long and detailed because I have a bad habit of not answering my phone and I don’t want to have to continue to engage in this silly phone tag.