When I was about 13 or so, my family went on a road trip. I don't remember where we went, but I know it must not have been a usual destination, because we had to use a phone book to find a Catholic church for Sunday Mass.
Well, I had a thing in those days for altar boys. I had a crush on several high school altar boys at our parish... even then I knew the good catches were the active parishioners.
So anyway, here we were at a strange parish, far from home, and I thought one of the altar boys was uncommonly cute. Knowing I'd never see him again, I thought I'd test out my flirting capabilities. So, bypassing recollected devotion and forfeiting all grace, I spent the First Reading, the Responsorial Psalm and the Second Reading trying inconspicuously to catch the eye of the albed assistant. Finally, during the Gospel (Lord, forgive me!), I made and kept eye contact.
I strained to remember every bit of etiquette my mother had been trying to instill in me since birth... I wanted to appear a gracious lady. I filed through the mental catalog. "Keep your shoulders back, don't slouch, fold your hands over your lap, the fork goes on the left..." check, check, check, n/a... oh! Yes!! Now for the crown jewel. "Open your eyes wide -- it makes them prettier."
I tried it. Suddenly, the altar boy looked more interested. Schweet success! My fledgling flirting skillz were sharp.
A minute or two into the homily and my eyes were starting to ache. How long did I have to keep this up?
Then I discovered, undoubtedly an inspiration for the salvation of my soul, that if I lowered my brow I could keep my eyes wide open without any strain.
The altar boy smiled.
I blinked my eyelashes delicately, and picked a new eyes-wide-open-brow-dropped position.
He laughed. "I think he's really into me," I thought. Then he nudged the other altar boy and nodded in my direction. The other altar boy erupted in laughter and quickly smothered it into a cough.
Things were getting dangerous. I was drawing far too much attention to myself... "I must be really hot stuff," I thought, feeling a little guilty for being so alluring in Church, so I backed off. The homily came to an end and besides a few eyes-wide-open moments scattered throughout the rest of Mass, I laid low.
It was only when we got back to the hotel that I went into the bathroom and tried out my foolproof man-catcher glances in the mirror.
I was thoroughly self-chastised.
I didn't come out of the bathroom for another half hour, and I never flirted again.