Here is El Yenta Man with yours truly, after getting wet at the Tybee Island Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day. It wasn’t exactly a mikveh, but fully immersing in the cold Atlantic with a few hundred other meshuggenehs was deeply cleansing experience.
As for the tattoos, the symbol is a mogen david with intersecting hearts, and made my mother faint the first time she saw it. The short story is that I got mine in my wee 20’s way before I ever thought I’d be wifely material, and he got his before our wedding, his idea. He figured that I was taking his name, so he should make a similar offering to the marriage. I do my best to remember this gesture whenever I want to smack him over the head with a frying pan.
The long story will have to come at a later time, since all the relatives have just left, there’s a veritable Mount Moriah of dirty laundry to do and the children don’t go back to school until Thursday. But if you want to know more about where the symbol comes from, you can check out this trippy stuff.