Hard Habit to Break

It’s official: I’m going to Hell.

Or whatever special place is reserved for those who flirt with nuns. Either way, I’m sure it’s going to be hot.


In my defense, I had no idea the matronly looking woman three booths down was a nun. I just thought it would be fun to wink at her suggestively. And then, for added measure, lick my lips lasciviously. What else is one supposed to do when dining in a salad buffet restaurant with his wife and daughter?

OK, maybe most guys don’t try to catch the attention of older women in this fashion. Clearly I am not “most guys.” When I started chuckling, naturally my wife wanted to know what was so humorous.

“I’m flirting with that older lady down there,” I said. “Just for fun.”

“You mean the nun?” she responded, without missing a beat.

“Right. The n…umm…are you #@%^& kidding me?!”

Tara was not #@%^& kidding me. Somehow, I had completely overlooked the fact that the object of my fake affections was dressed in a black habit. I just thought she had long, dark hair!

Shit. Maybe I do need glasses.


In any case, once I realized what had happened, I turned beet red. My wife and daughter, naturally, could not stop laughing. And promptly let me know I had secured a one-way ticket to Hades.

“I’ll be damned,” I said.

“Yep,” Tara replied. “Literally.”

“Maybe she didn’t see me,” I said hopefully. “I’m going to grab another cup of soup.”

I got up and casually glanced at the nun as I walked by, praying (ha!) she would be engrossed in conversation with her dining companion. Unfortunately, she was gazing at me intently. And were those lips of hers pursed? Why was I looking at her lips, anyway?! I started mentally compiling a list of the number of “hail Mary”s it would take to get myself out of this jam. The figure  was depressingly high, so I just quit. I thought about smoothing things over by telling her what a big fan of Sister Act I was. Then I remembered that Deloris Van Cartier wasn’t really a nun, but a lounge singer of questionable morals.

So much for that approach.

Come, pensive nun, devout and pure, sober steadfast, and demure, all in a robe of darkest grain, flowing with majestic train.

Because I’m an optimist, I cheerfully said this was a story we would still be laughing over ten years from now.

“Unless you get hit by a bus tomorrow,” Audrey pointed out.

Crap. I’ll be checking the weather forecast very carefully from now on. Gotta watch out for a stray bolt from the blue.




Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

20 thoughts on “Hard Habit to Break

    1. No, I don’t normally flirt with older women. Or any other women. Technically, it was fake flirting. In my defense, I’d finished my salad and there was a lull in the conversation. Apparently that’s all I need, lol. I just like to goof around.


  1. Um, yes. New glasses sound like the order of the day.
    That, and just considering NOT flirting randomly.

    FWIW, the nun is probably praying for your apparently doomed soul. And for your wife and daughter, poor lambs.


  2. “Unfortunately, she was gazing at me intently. And were those lips of hers pursed? Why was I looking at her lips, anyway?! I started mentally compiling a list of the number of “hail Mary”s it would take to get myself out of this jam.”

    Bwhahahahahahah! Mark, you crack me the hell up, man!

    When I first read that you flirted with a nun, I thought you were going to say that you didn’t recognize that is WAS a nun because now-a-days, so many orders of nuns no longer wear a habit, they dress like laypeople.

    Oh and btw, I LOVE the movie Sister Act too! Faaaaaaaaabulous film!


    1. Have you ever Googled “sexy nuns”? (God, what is wrong with me??). I’m just sayin’, there are some pretty suggestive ladies out there. Ones you would never guess had taken an oath of celibacy. Then again, maybe I was looking at Halloween costumes…


  3. LMAO! I have done some bad things that will certainly affect my karma in life but this takes the cake! At least the nun didn’t say anything to you. That would have been a hard thing to talk your way out of!


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