I Would Make a Horrible Spy

I’ve always been drawn to tales of international intrigue and adventure. Movies about espionage (as long as they’re good) and even domestic criminal activity are one of my favorite genres of movie: living vicariously at its finest, ladies and gents.

So naturally, I’ve fallen in love with Homeland in an absence of any more Game of Thrones episodes until March (why, HBO, why?).

A bi-polar female acting as an intelligence operator during this oh-so-explosive current international atmosphere of terrorists and Middle Eastern conflict. This is a recipe for a show Natalie can’t stop watching. See, I also enjoy shows and movies with strong female leads – Netflix told me so.

I think my interest in spy movies and political thrillers puzzles my husband, who can take-or-leave this type of programming. The appearance of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy on our Netflix queue and my preoccupation with The Bourne Identity series sort of confuses him. After all, I’m more interested in attending a museum exhibit than a sporting event, so I’m not really that type of girl.

Not that I fit any type at all, or even believe in types. But that’s a story for another blog post.

In any case, I’ve actually considered a career in the FBI or the CIA based solely on my fascination with this form of entertainment (really though, there isn’t a type of career I haven’t considered).

Why haven’t I pursued it? Well, readers, because I would totally suck at it, and I just read an article confirming what I always knew in my heart.

Aside from my emotional instabilities, which wouldn’t let me get past the background check stage of the interview process – alcoholic with depressive tendencies and a proclivity for frequent uncontrollable outbursts of tears – I possess none of the character traits of a good agent. In fact, my personality mirrors the exact opposite of what makes a successful CIA operative. See the below responses to the traits mentioned in the article by Vaughn Sherman:

  1. I am the least observant person on the face of the planet. This makes me the type of person that has lived in an area for several years, and never noticed that the ugly fluorescent blue building on 7th Street is a laundromat until one day last week when it popped out at me for no discernible reason. Osama Bin Laden himself could be resurrected from the dead, cross my path, bump my shoulder and light up a rocket launcher and I would fail to notice because I’m distracted by sheer volume of useless thinking that goes on in my head. What if I just went out and bought a flying squirrel for a pet? Would Mike get made at me? Would Rusty eat it? Would Mimi eat it? Should I instead write a story about a girl who buys a flying squirrel and then HER pet eats it? How did patriarchy start, anyway? Etc., etc.
  2. My interpersonal skills are lacking. I especially have trouble generating relationships out of thin air, which I guess is the method of making valuable contacts and garnering helpful information from total strangers. Suaveness does not come naturally to me. Think of James Bond. Got it? Okay, now, think of the antithesis of James Bond. Got it? Because the latter would be me.
  3. Tenacity. Ah, a virtue I only display when reading books and discussing food. Or trying to get my way when I really want something. Wait, on second thought, maybe I’m more tenacious than I thought…
  4. Zero tolerance for ambiguity. I am on a need-to-know basis with everything.
  5. I have all the stamina of a baby mayfly.

The only quality I do have, according to Mr. Sherman, is chutzpah. It takes a lot of chutzpah, for example, to publicly admit all the reasons why you suck at life in writing on the internet, which makes it, like, twice as public. So maybe I won’t make a brilliant intelligence operative, but I will damn well tell you all the reasons why.

 

Now THIS is a career I can get behind – post-it-note artist. *

What is your secret fantasy career that you know you’d be awful at?

 

–  –  –

* Photo Source

 

Follow the Cat Lady

Comments

I Would Make a Horrible Spy — 23 Comments

  1. Tinker Tailor might have been good…I’m still wondering. I think I missed something. But Game of Thrones is beyond amazing. I don’t even like fantasy; yet I can wait for Thrones. Perfection takes time. I keep thinking about canceling HBO in between their “seasons.” How many times can they show “The Change Up” in three months? Apparently somebody missed the other 46 times it already aired.

    Anyways, as a guy, I think I speak for many guys when I say I would want to be a QB for an NFL team (heck, I’d take a Div. II college team). Anyways, I’m too fat, too slow, can’t take a hit, can’t throw a good spiral past 22 yards, don’t like showering with groups of men, don’t like wearing a jock strap, don’t like prima-donnas, would panic in an interview… But boy did I make the right plays in my 15-year-old fantasies.

    • I love this beyond description! You know yourself well, my friend, but still allow yourself to fantasize big. I respect that. And you’re a Thrones fan, too? It is really the best, and saved my sick self from many weeks of boredom on the couch. I watched it night after night online, seeing as we don’t have cable for the reason you mentioned – months of bad programming just to get an hour a week of something watchable. I’m too cheap for that.
      And I was kind of disappointed by Tinker Tailor for the same reason. Mike insisted we turn it off halfway through, but I kept wanting to persevere. “It will all magically make sense at the end, Mike!” I had to admit defeat when the credits rolled.

  2. Somehow getting paid to consume entertainment? >.< I'm a bit of an entertainment junkie. Books are my main addiction, but I really have a fascination with all of it. Radio, movies, tv, interactive (a la The LBD)…I love it. I'm cognizant of how it used to manipulate and I still love it. I'll enjoy a story, then go dissect it on my own. The only reason I'm not pursuing some sort of degree is because however cool it might seem, I think it's true that turning a fun hobby into a job is the surest way to kill your enjoyment. Besides, I have so many other things I want to do as well ;).

    • As long as you’re aware, I see no shame in such a hobby. I too devour entertainment (mostly books), so I totally get it! And I think you’re wise not to pursue a career in such a field – that’s why I chose not to become a professional book-reader. If there were such a career.

      • there is, it’s called being an editor or a proofreader and I think I would not like it. I actually looked into it when I was younger (as I had done the job for my dad’s print-on-demand publishing company), but realized that having to take such a critical eye to things as a JOB would be miserable for me….even though I still want to highlight errors I find in books and send them back to the publishing company >.<
        Also, they need better proofers for ebooks.

  3. Ive always wanted a job that travels, but considering I’m terrified of planes this would be a little silly. Would I suck it up and get used to it? Or turn into a puddle of jelly? I guess I’ll never know

  4. I’ve always wanted to sing. All through my childhood I was in choir at church and chorus at school, but once I hit high school, the social awkwardness and fear of humiliating myself took over. You know how in Empire Records Gina reveals she’s always wanted to sing in a band? And then she does on top of the marquee at the end when everyone comes together to save the Empire and it’s totally kick ass? That’s me in my fantasy life. Except in my fantasy I’d be best friends with Mark and make out with A.J., too. Wait…what was the question?

    And why would i suck at it? Because I become paralyzed in front of a crowd and fear everyone would make fun of my weird singing faces, plus I may be able to carry a tune, but I haven’t got the pipes to take it to a professional level.

    • Oh man, I hear you on that one! I LOVE to sing, and can do it pretty well – as long as I’m alone, or singing in a choir. Once I’m alone in front of people, I get nervous and my voice is no longer under my control.
      And your fantasy? Mine, too. Mine too. *Sigh*

  5. If I was ten years younger, I would put myself through law school. I do love interpretation of blah code annotated. However, I do not care to argue. I’m thinking you can’t win by screaming shut up and running away.

    • Ah, a responsible dream, indeed! I too once considered being a lawyer (like I said, I’ve considered just about EVERYTHING) because I like the research and the drama, but I decided not to because every lawyer I knew was unhappy and told me it wasn’t like a Grisham novel, which was my entire basis of reality back then.

  6. What if this guy made up all that criteria to throw off terrorists?! It’s like those infidels over there are going “Hmmm, that is one stable, charismatic dude, he must be a spy, let’s nuke him.” So what the CIA/FBI reeeeeeally want is the OPPOSITE….like you! Career path revived!

    • Hahaha!! You just made my day! You’re right, I’m sure the CIA needs a lady who prefers to read all day, gets stressed out really easily, and who will demand the highest clearance available because she needs to know ALL the secrets before she begins.

  7. Oh man, I think I finally understand why I got no answer to my application for the foreign service (right after college)! “…emotional instabilities, which wouldn’t let me get past the background check stage of the interview process – alcoholic with depressive tendencies and a proclivity for frequent uncontrollable outbursts of tears.” Thanks for clearing that up. PS I love those international thrillers too and secretly see myself as a diplomat.

  8. I would love to be a veterinarian! If I didn’t have such horrendous allergies. And if I wouldn’t burst into tears each time and animal died. And if I actually knew anything about animal anatomy or any other science one needs to know. But if I could conquer all those, I’d be an awesome vet!

    Maybe instead of actually being in the CIA, you could write an awesome thriller *about* being in the CIA!!

    • I am the same way about animals! Except worse, because I can’t even go to a pet adoption without bursting into tears. They just want a family!!!!
      And I’ve toyed with the CIA thriller idea. I think I don’t know enough about espionage to write something even remotely credible…but hey, you don’t know until you try, right?

  9. I adore all those spy novels and so forth. My bookshelf is a little creepy. I loved Tinker Tailor, but I also have the book, which makes it easier. Sort of.

    I used to think I’d make a great spy, since I have been fascinated by it since I was a little kid and occasionally still pretend, but I have no attention span or memory for things. “I can’t remember what he told me, but there was something gonna be blown up, like really soon”.

    I’d love to be a UN translator, but once again no attention span. And I am hearing impaired. I zone out pretty quickly when I can’t grasp the whole thing. My translations would consist of “she said something about trade thingys and whatever, and wanted to eat a banana”.

  10. I may be the only human who has not seen Homeland and I feel even more inadequate than usual because of it. I also would make a terrible spy and I know this because of the sleep deprivation I experienced when I had newborn twins. I would have given up any secrets immediately just for a solid hour of sleep. We’d all be speaking Arabic right now if I were in a position of any kind of trust!!!
    I’ve always wanted to be an actor but I think not only would I be terrible but I would suck so bad I’d have to constantly write bad reviews of myself on my blog. Who needs that?
    Great post! I giggled through it all!!

    • I hear you about the sleep! That’s the thing that makes me most nervous about having children. If I’m cut off mid-sleep, I am incapable of waking – only viscerally growling and staring at walls.
      See, I know I would make and A-MAZING actor. I just haven’t been given my big break yet. Plus I’d have to lose like forty pounds, and I really don’t feel like doing that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge