Spying is a lot of fun, which is weird because the information you glean from covert observation and snooping is rarely pleasing. You might find out that someone is going to throw you a surprise party or that you’re going to get a promotion or that your ex’s new partner is cheating on them sooner than you expected, but you’re more likely to uncover the disturbing facts that your ex and their new partner performed a handsome foxtrot across your grave before you were interred, that someone close to you is very sick, that when your mom had that broken leg it wasn’t really from falling down the stairs like she said, or that the person you thought was just shy intensely dislikes you.
Even the good secrets, the surprise parties and the hidden presents, are a disappointment to discover. Premature discovery muzzles the excitement of anticipation. Waiting for the unexpected is heart-fluttering and breathless; waiting for the expected is heavy and tiresome. But it all goes with the territory. Professional spies aren’t sent on missions to decode transmissions from rainbows or find out the secret ingredient in a Krispy Kreme doughnut. Alexander Litvinenko didn’t spend his life camouflaged under a pile of kittens to eavesdrop on who was bringing what for the church picnic. And when you were a kid you and your sister didn’t silently crouch with your ears pressed against the door to your parents’ bedroom because they were calmly discussing the merits of a pony vs. a unicorn for a pet.
So why the attraction to an activity that yields painful results? Two reasons come to mind: You’re “not supposed to”, and suspicions need to be either validated or dismissed before they drive you batshit insane. The combination of participating in a taboo activity while finding out things that other people have been trying to hide is damn near irresistible. And if you snoop, you will find something. It’s rare to feel that urge without knowing already what you’re going to find. And as long as you’re following sticky blood trails towards dubious rewards, you may as well throw yourself some romance. When there aren’t any shadows to melt into, dress the part as hard as you can.
Fashion can escalate you from a dirty sneak to a glamorous spy.
A newspaper is an important thing to have when you’re a spy. It keeps your hands busy, you can hide your face behind it, and if anyone looks at you then you can make them feel like they’re being rude for interrupting you.
Not woman. Femme.
Not just femme. Femme Fatale.