I was born to lead top secret CIA missions.
That was the first not-quite-realistic thought I had while sitting in the darkened movie theater, feeling breathless from anxiety about whether Ben Affleck was going to be able to get the hostages out of Iran in Argo.
It looked like it was energizing to face a very armed Iranian revolutionary soldier. The secrecy and the adrenaline rush of clandestine operations appealed to me as I nibbled my Clif bar that I snuck into the theater (which kind of proves I am awesome at being secret-agent-y) during the matinée.
By the time Jeff and I were out on the sidewalk, I had convinced myself that a life with a little more . . . danger was exactly what I needed.
I’m up for it! I convinced myself.
I was supposed to be perusing the menu for a quick lunch before our babysitter clocked out, but I was thinking about how long it would take me to master Farsi. I gave myself six months, then I ordered a burrito (to demonstrate that I had already mastered “menu Spanish”).
Oh my god, my legal degree! Surely, it would make me eligible for all kinds of “state secrets.” I visualized that Obama himself would give me “clearance” and a badge and that special briefcase that agents always carry in the movies. Would he let me have a floral backpack instead? You know, to make me seem less threatening.
Uh oh, did Jeff just say something to me? I think he asked if I liked the movie.
“It made a big impression on me,” I said, hoping it was an answer to whatever he asked me.
Would I get to make up my own code names for my missions? As I bit into my food, I was thinking I would name my covert operations after popular nail polish colors: Operation Ballet Slippers or Operation Lincoln Park After Dark. Who would ever say, “Hey, why is your top secret operation named after nail polish?”
Uh oh, Jeff just said something again; he’s looking at me as if he wants an answer. Clearly, I would have to get better at multi-tasking if I planned to rise through the ranks at the CIA.
“You seem distracted?” Jeff said. Clearly, with Jeff’s level of attention to detail, he would have to be briefed by my bosses on the declassified parts of my missions. And of course we’d have to update our wills and get more life insurance on me, since I’d probably die first.
“Me? Nah. I was just thinking about . . . my schedule,” I said, practicing lying to the person who knows me the best.
“What are you doing this afternoon?” he asked, unaware how my new career was about to plunge our lives into uncertainty.
Wait! Maybe he should join with me. Nah, that was a horrible idea. He’d inevitably upstage me, and this whole CIA thing? It needs to be something “just for me.”
“When we get home I am taking both kids to Target,” I answered truthfully, which would really throw him off. He’d be all When is she lying? When is she telling the truth?
“Two kids at Target during rush hour? Good luck with that,” Jeff said, standing up to put on his coat.
Wait. He’s right. My afternoon is gonna suck. Panic was rising. Sure, they are cute and their combined weight is less than 70 pounds, but honestly, they can take me down. Hard. It’s happened before. They are dangerous.
“Jeff? I’m never gonna be in the CIA am I?” I asked, sensing my newly-born dream was about to die a swift death.
Once he stopped laughing, he gave me an honest answer– something to the effect of “no F-ing way.”
Turns out I was actually born to run missions to grab tampons and Windex at Target with my two-and -three-year olds. That’s danger enough for me.