Diaries Magazine

Why Middle-aged Women Make the Best Spies

Posted on the 07 March 2015 by Ellenarnison @Ellen27
James Bond's time is up, MI5 has come to its senses. 

British spy bosses have announced that they're keen to recruit more middle-aged women to the ranks of the intelligence agencies. More? It's hard to see where they might fit among the well-cut suits, rippling biceps and broodingly mysterious strangers. Do you notice many secret agents with school timetables and kids' party invites on their fridges? Among the suave and cosmopolitan do you see people lugging large battered bags stuffed with just-in-case wet wipes and emergency socks? Do some of their number suddenly get the crumpled brow and down-cast air associated with the recollection that it is scouts tonight, fancy dress tomorrow or that there's no milk in for breakfast and it's too late to do anything about it?

Why middle-aged women make the best spies

Disguise (Yumikrum via flickr)

No? Thought not.  Spies like us? (That has a ring about it, doesn't it?) How can middle-aged women join the ranks of the dashing and debonair? What would MI5, MI6 or GCHQ want with someone, well, someone like me?  Well that's the very sneaky thing. Women in their prime make the best spies ever. It's obvious.  How much cunning do you think it takes to do earn a living, keep some children alive, a house from utter squalor and still manage to find time to get to the hairdresser once in a while? Bucket loads, that's how much. It's the same skill that allows them to identify which bakery products will look home-made enough for the bake sale and how to head most of tantrums off at the first petulant sigh.  As for the need for disguise - that one comes easily. All a middle-aged woman has to do to become invisible is to stand still and say nothing. It's something of a superpower.  With more hand bags coming into the Service, Q could end up out of a job. Inside the average mother's bag you'll find equipment to deal with most eventualities from splinters to explosions of toxic chemicals (even after the nappy years).  But what about the fitness? I hear you cry. Of course, we're used to seeing our secret agents leaping into action, bounding across casinos and disarming assassins before you'd even noticed their evil skulking. Well watch what happens when a toddler near a hard surface or a body of water picks up his mother's new iPhone and you'll find your concerns put to rest faster than she can say: "Put it down." Some intelligence work is about decoding messages and intercepting enemy communication. It can't be any harder than understanding teenagers, can it? Especially not when they're trying to keep a secret.  Obviously spies need keen observational skills. You know. Like the ones mothers have when they think their children are up to something, or when their spouse is hatching a plot. They may wonder how you know everything you know, but, to us, it's obvious.
Let's consider covert listening - also known as eavesdropping. Take the ability to become invisible add don't-wake-the-baby sneaking skills plus a dash of cunning, and there's very little a mother doesn't know about in her own home - or else where for that matter. 
There are a batch of abilities a mother - particularly a working one - can bring to the international espionage arena: These include the ability to keep tabs on a whole group of people while appearing to pay attention to the primary task; curing minor ailments (reference working mother encountering minor rash or slight cold); finding things (other people's); and being in two places at once. 

So it's obvious really. Mothers make the best spies, they have done for years. The next time you see a woman with a slightly distracted look on her face, she's not wondering what's for supper, she's considering how to handle a crucial piece of intelligence that might just save the nation. 

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