Spy Kids gave us pretty unrealistic expectations of one day having to rescue our seemingly normal parents from supervillains after making the startling discovery that they’re actually secret agents. For most of us, the fantasy of becoming a family of spies fades fairly quickly. How are you supposed to save the world when you can barely get through a game night without someone crying? And realistically, it seems pretty unlikely that your parents would be spies given that they’ve barely mastered sending emails. Though our own spy fantasies are never coming to fruition, a TikTok user named Maria is kind enough to share her own real-life experience with the world.
19-Year-old Maria knew her dad was in the military, but it wasn’t until she was 16 that she found out her dad was in fact a former spy. Upon finding out the truth, Maria explains that she was “a little peeved” that he omitted some important details about his military career. Then again, she almost immediately turned to TikTok to create a 19-part (and counting) series on her dad’s life as a former spy, so maybe it was for the best that he waited a while.
Incredibly, Maria got her dad to answer dozens of questions about being a spy. For the most part, he answers his daughter’s questions directly, occasionally dismissing some as “classified.”
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Maria’s dad’s frankness doesn’t leave much room for follow-up questions. He answers briefly and concisely, with the air of someone who doesn’t have the time or energy to mess around. At times, however, his frankness is a little unsettling – like when Maria asks for his thoughts on World War 3. Her dad replies without hesitation, “It will be something that most of us do not survive.”
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The UC Berkeley student has gone viral for her unusual series, with several videos hitting over a million views. Maria pulls questions from her followers, sharing intel with the world while getting to know a side of her dad he’d hidden for most of her life. While he doesn’t answer any questions that would give away specific classified information, he does a phenomenal job keeping viewers interested.
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Though Maria’s dad has been more focused on fatherhood than his time in the military over the past couple of decades, the experience was clearly transformative. And to all aspiring spies, he has some important advice: learn Russian.