August 11 08

i have so much to tell you. this weekend, my bachelorette weekend, was great. it involved many, many, many hours of sleeping. and a manicure (that i didn’t have to be forced to get) and going to see The Dark Knight ALL BY MYSELF (ah..little Ali has grown up…) and much brownie batter (the brownies never did get baked) and a haircut (SIX inches!)

and finding the day dress i’ve been looking for! and finally caving and buying this book because i was feeling left out on twitter…haha.

and the entire family made it home safely from their week at my mom’s house at about 12:30 last night…

…so, there’s lots to tell, but it has to be put on hold. because i promised Dad Gone Mad i would tell you a story (and what Danny says, i do. and not just because i’m jealous of his new book deal). a little story about my first time.

my mom came with me. i was so young, no naive. at a week-shy-of-twenty this was not only new for me, it was frightening as well. i mean, not many people had seen the fullAli (shut up, it’s not THAT many…). and certainly not a WOMAN. (unless you count the showers at camp Moshava, but i most certainly don’t!)

she led me into room #2, told me to get naked. told me to take a bath if i needed to. (what? why would i NEED to take a bath?) and then come out on the other side. where the mikvah was.




(oh, and ps. my mom was there too. awkward. tangent: do you want to know what’s awkward? looking at the word awkward. its spelled so, well, awkwardly. what’s up with that? end tangent.)

some of you will know what a mikvah is. most of you, i’m gathering will not. some of you know what it is because when Charlotte converts on Sex and the City, she dips in a mikvah.

to the naked (heh. naked) eye, it looks like a mini-pool, yes, but to Orthodox Jews (and some non Orthodox too, we don’t generalize here at Cheaper Than Therapy) it serves as a ritual purification. before a wedding (in my case), after a woman’s period each month, after having a baby. i’ve had friends talk about how wonderful an experience they think it is, and i’ve had friends talk about how its just a nuisance. (either way, i don’t judge. at all. please don’t judge me)

for me, the one and only time i was ever at a mikvah, it was a nightmare.

(we will not get into some of my fundamental issues with the idea that a woman’s body is UNCLEAN and, therefore, in need of a purification.

today it’s just about the story.)

she checked my hands. my hair. my face. my toes. she actually got down on her KNEES to do this part. she told me i had to remove the remnants of the toe polish i had on. once this task was completed, she told me to get in.

so, i went down.

and she was supposed to say ‘kosher’ which would have meant that somehow this ritual dunking in a communal bath (at the time i was trying SO hard not to think about ALL the other naked women who had been in there that day) was complete and i was free to hide my nakedness from this stranger and go about with all the exciting things most females do before weddings.

instead she said

“you hair didn’t go fully under. try again”

and then she said it again.

and then she said it again.

and then she said it again.

and then she grunted a little, getting a little annoyed me with, i think. and then, in a shocking turn of events, she actually GOT INTO THE MIKVAH WITH ME.

(i don’t know if this was allowed. something tells me that it’s completely NOT. i think she just wanted to be done with me)

and that was when i was almost drowned by the mikvah lady.

three times.

and then, in another shocking turn of events, she HUGGED me. and wished me luck on my wedding night. this stranger. who now knew i had c-cups. who now knew the state of affairs of my nether regions. who almost killed me. and made me scared of the mikvah (and maybe of swimming a little bit too) forever. hugged. me. and sent me on my merry way to go forth and have sex and make babies and prosper.

and i knew that i would never be back. and she probably did too.

and so i guess this is a story not just of my first time. it’s a story of my last time, as well.

  1. I also bought Twilight this weekend and will probably fail my Astronomy test today because of it! The mikvah (of which I had never heard) sounds “interesting” and in your first experience, a little creepy. Can you imagine the lady’s resume? “Mikvah attendant: 1985-2003″

    Kates last blog post..A Break to Blog


    Comment by Kate on August 11, 2008
  2. Omg .. I would have died – well, you do what you have to do!
    that was such a funny story .. I was gasping, then shocked, then crying with laughter!!
    btw .. I want to hear about the weekend – and you’re haircut .. pics please!!


    Comment by Sarah on August 11, 2008
  3. OMG that graphic! LOL

    Nics last blog post..Alllll by myseeeeelf


    Comment by Nic on August 11, 2008
  4. o.k. so I know I am really bad about leaving comments, but I must comment today! I am dying of laughter. Seriously laughing out loud. joshy just came in to ask me what was so funny. I can totally relate to this mikveh story!!


    Comment by anne on August 11, 2008
  5. how horrifying! you poor thing! it’s wonder you didn’t flee the scene.
    you’ll love stephanie meyer. i have read everything except breaking dawn – she’s fabulous!

    Karen Sugarpantss last blog post..Up Goes Mr. Down


    Comment by Karen Sugarpants on August 11, 2008
  6. There’s nothing normal about being Jewish, is there? That’s just an awesome story, Ali. Awesome. Mazel Tov and all that.

    But can we discuss the animated Asian gusher for a second? WTF? The thing in the upper left corner looks like a lamb, and that just strikes me odd.


    Comment by Dad Gone Mad on August 11, 2008
  7. I’m with Danny. I can’t get past the Asian gusher.

    I’m going to be eating lunch today (a lunch meeting, btw) and all I’ll be able to think as I cut into my steak is…

    Asian gusher.


    Matthews last blog post..Video killed the blogging star


    Comment by Matthew on August 11, 2008
  8. I am trying so hard not to laugh out loud and wake up my kids. I NEED them to sleep! haha Hilarious! And, might I say, enlightening, because I’ve never heard of the mikvah!

    Seriously though, what the ?? is up with that picture!! Now we’re all going to picture little japanimation creatures flying from our vajayjays every month!

    Loving the hair, btw! I have serious hair envy when it comes to you! :P


    Comment by AJ on August 11, 2008
  9. I dont remember too much about my Mikvah night- and it was 3 years ago!

    All I remember is trying to hide my tiny back tattoo from the mikvah lady (since she was my grandmother’s neighbor) and running into the mikvah so that no one would see me naked. I was so thin then!

    Mayas last blog post..Guess who has teeth?


    Comment by Maya on August 11, 2008
  10. I had no idea this occurred and I think I might have missed this episode of Sex in the City. I’m going to have to ask Metalia if she had to do this too.


    Comment by gorillabuns on August 11, 2008
  11. Ali i love your hair cut.its so fab! hey i’m glad my moon cycle doesn’t produce a gusher like that pic hahaha! i remember that sex and the city episode of charlottes mikvah. fascinating.and a little freaky.was it wrong to be laughing at you while reading about it? and the TWILIGHT series of books are awesome! my teen girl loves them ! so i’ve been reading and really enjoying them. we went to chapters on august 1 at midnight to pick up her pre-ordered copy of breaking dawn.enjoy the book


    Comment by LAVENDULA on August 11, 2008
  12. Wow, boy am I glad I don’t have to do that. I would probably start crying if that happened to me. oh Let me know how the book is, I have been curious about it-also the hair looks great!

    Sarahs last blog post..The Monday Review: In The Company of the Courtesan


    Comment by Sarah on August 11, 2008
  13. TEARS from the laughter over here! Also, kind of glad to be Baptist right now. Thanks for perking me up on a Monday morning!

    HeatherPrides last blog post..Losing Laurel


    Comment by HeatherPride on August 11, 2008
  14. Oh. Wow. Uh, I could never have done that. My hat’s off to you.

    And dude – I fucking LOVE LOVE your hair. LOVE!


    Comment by mamatulip on August 11, 2008
  15. There are no words to sufficiently express my horror at the gushing photo.

    I’m not even sure if I read a post here or not.


    Comment by SciFi Dad on August 11, 2008
  16. Your hair looks so cute. OMGosh!!

    I totally know what a mikvah is! Yes! Me! Because I am fascinated by Judaism.

    I can’t believe that the mikvah lady got in with you. How funny! (and awkward) I’m sure you were traumatized at the time, but it makes a hilarious story now!


    Comment by Britt on August 11, 2008
  17. Your hair looks great!
    Eek, I’d be scared of swimming after that!

    Diannas last blog post..Part 2 of many (many) pictures – New Jersey


    Comment by Dianna on August 11, 2008
  18. Ahhhh! You just made me supremely happy I’m not Jewish!! (No offense.)(I don’t really like to get naked.)(Unless it’s with SVV, hehe.)

    Camels & Chocolates last blog post..Olympic Fever


    Comment by Camels & Chocolate on August 11, 2008
  19. P.S. Pretty hair!!!

    Camels & Chocolates last blog post..Olympic Fever


    Comment by Camels & Chocolate on August 11, 2008
  20. OK, I’m sorry. That cartoon is HILARIOUS.

    I’m going to be giggling all day…

    Angellas last blog post..When Lightning Strikes


    Comment by Angella on August 11, 2008
  21. Now you’ve done it…you’ve let everyone know our little secret and now everyone will want their own mikvah.
    Like we weren’t different enough? Seriously – not every jewish girl had a mikvah. Only those who are orthodox or who become jewish by injection (converts).

    the anime is hysterical, but wrong, wrong, wrong!


    Comment by swirl girl on August 11, 2008
  22. 1. Going to the movies alone ROCKS.

    2. The anime image is horrifying.

    3. As is the description of your experience.

    Good lord.

    Assertagirls last blog post..There’s No Pleasing Everyone


    Comment by Assertagirl on August 11, 2008
  23. The mikvah story disturbs me. The nakedness, the lady, the whole thing. Can’t handle it.

    But oh my goodness. Your hair. Is stunning. I am dying of jealousy over here. Please, tell me everything (the products, the tools). I am jealous of your hair’s beauty. That is all.


    Comment by Sarah on August 11, 2008
  24. LOVE your hair. It looks amazing.

    This post is a perfect example of why I like to read blogs. Fascinating. I find it so cool to learn about others firsts and lasts and everything inbetween.

    ohmommys last blog post.."OH, HI OH!"


    Comment by ohmommy on August 11, 2008
  25. That picture with the shooting menstrual imps – hahaahah! Crazy.
    You know, someone was talking to me about THEIR Mikvah night just this weekend. And now you write this – coincidence?

    Rebeccas last blog post..Home Again, Home Again


    Comment by Rebecca on August 11, 2008
  26. LOVE the haircut – so tell about the dress????


    Comment by Karen on August 11, 2008
  27. That totally happened to me at my first and last mikvah.

    Backpacking Dads last blog post..This moment, like so many others, brought to you by parenthood.


    Comment by Backpacking Dad on August 11, 2008
  28. I’ve always thought I might like being Jewish, but now I see that I would not like it at all. Religions that involve nakedness are not for me.

    And that is the best graphic ever.


    Comment by regan on August 11, 2008
  29. I’m so glad I didn’t have to do that too. Not judgeing at all, just…it’s “different” to say the least! I’m sure they can’t all be like that right?

    KathyMs last blog post..Giant explosion


    Comment by KathyM on August 11, 2008
  30. Love the hair, as always!


    Comment by Chris on August 11, 2008
  31. - I used to go to the movies alone a lot, and loved it!

    - your haircut is gorgeous

    - I hope you don’t regret spending the money for that book…

    - I ALWAYS have to look up the spelling of awkward

    - anime creeps me out

    - I could no way do what you did!!

    also? your haircut is gorgeous again!

    differentkindofgirls last blog post..don’t call us, we’ll call you


    Comment by differentkindofgirl on August 11, 2008
  32. The new ‘do looks great!

    And I have no idea what you are talking about with the rest of it …

    Teena in Torontos last blog post..


    Comment by Teena in Toronto on August 11, 2008
  33. I got mikvah water up my nose and choked. All three times.
    I guess that means I’m extra holy because mikvah water flows through me.

    But all in all, I kindof liked it. I find it WAAAAY less awkward (ha) than getting a wax, lying all naked on the table with a magnifying glass between the esthetician’s face and your nethers.


    Comment by Tali on August 11, 2008
  34. Woahh! That is brutal!!! Totally traumatizing! I’ve never had a mikvah…. I can’t IMAGINE!!!


    Comment by Haley-O on August 11, 2008
  35. So wait, are you saying there are people that do this every time they have their period?

    slynnros last blog post..Scenes From a Marriage: This is How We Plan a Vacation Edition.


    Comment by slynnro on August 11, 2008
  36. People do this every month?? Dang. That would SUCK. And she inspected your TOES? Weird, man.

    And when you said you were going to tell us about your first time I totally did not think you meant what you meant. And then you said your mom was there as well and I was a bit confused. LOL!

    Karlys last blog post..Putting My Evil To Good Use


    Comment by Karly on August 11, 2008
  37. Um, that sounds a little weird.

    amandas last blog post..You Got The Power!


    Comment by amanda on August 12, 2008
  38. I will have to come back and read the whole entry when I have time – just wanted to tell you that your hair (& you) look absolutely gorgeous!!
    LOVE IT! x


    Comment by Bronnie on August 12, 2008
  39. If you could see me right now you would not believe the look on my face. Sorta laughing horrified.

    totally scared my kid.

    And I caved and bought that damned book too. Haven’t opened it yet. It better be good for all the Twittering it has got!


    Comment by Kelley on August 12, 2008
  40. That book be all the rage, though I think I need to start at 1 first

    Sparky Ducks last blog post..Olympics After Dark-International Flavor


    Comment by Sparky Duck on August 12, 2008
  41. The new hair-do looks beautiful, Ali! Also, I have never heard of mikvah…it sounds kind of crazy!

    Katies last blog post..Weekend Wrap-Up (and Roll-Ups!)


    Comment by Katie on August 12, 2008
  42. HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA! You know I can relate. I am dyyyyying of laughter. The mikvah lady GOT IN THERE WITH YOU??

    metalias last blog post..This is PRECISELY Why I Didn’t Read Harry Potter


    Comment by metalia on August 12, 2008
  43. HA. I love the period animation. I think that’s going to be my new screensaver.

    heathers last blog post..She Takes A Licking But Keeps On Ticking


    Comment by heather on August 13, 2008
  44. Hot hair, gf!

    Multi-Tasking Mommys last blog post..Widening Wednesday Week 32


    Comment by Multi-Tasking Mommy on August 13, 2008
  45. My love has forever grown exponentially for you after you posted that disturbing cartoon.


    I’m sorry. But I laughed my arse off at that story.

    And C-cups? Damn woman. I knew I loved you for a reason.



    Comment by Redneck Mommy on August 13, 2008
  46. Um…it’s been a while since I visited your lovely blog & THIS is what I see…ha! Ok…hair is ROCKIN’
    Gushergirl cartoon is scary.
    The mikvah story…well that was something else altogether. Question though…what does a woman do if they are deathly afraid of being underwater even for a moment? There are those folks out there like my Mum. Talk about trauma. I’m glad you can share the story with us at least. You are too funny Ali.


    Comment by Theoda on August 13, 2008
  47. I looooooove that anime menstruation chicky, high five for doing the solo movie (I love doing it by myself as you know) and OH MY HOLY HECK, the things we do for religion, eh? I’m sorry I laughed at that story. BTW your hair looks tres sexy, oui oui.

    motherbumpers last blog post..wordless wednesday: linky edition


    Comment by motherbumper on August 15, 2008
  48. (WO)MAN, what a disaster. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Um, probably not the right time, but I run a non-Ortho. mikveh discussion group ( if you ever want to give it a try in the remote future. Mazel tov on your marriage!


    Comment by Rachel S. Heller on August 18, 2008
  49. P.S.: Where the hell did this happen? I would love to warn my listmembers away from this place if you feel comfortable saying.

    Rachel S. Hellers last blog post..Welcome!


    Comment by Rachel S. Heller on August 18, 2008
  50. Holy hell! Where did you get that graphic? That is all I can focus on.

    Kristabellas last blog post..Weekend Update


    Comment by Kristabella on August 19, 2008
  51. [...] schooling my Aiming Low lovelies in Judaism 101 – which, of course, included the tale of how I almost drowned in the mikvah. (it’s a good one; I highly recommend clicking over) and then, you know, in return, they [...]

    Pingback by Cheaper Than Therapy » Blog Archive » It’s not ONLY about monkeys not being able to spell lingerie, I promise on September 2, 2009
  52. Okay…i go to the mikvah. regularly. and nothing quite that ridiculous has ever happened to me. SHE GOT IN WITH YOU???
    .-= Shosh´s last blog ..a rant, and then some love =-.


    Comment by Shosh on September 2, 2009

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