Friday, January 21, 2005

Shameless brag? Nope, shameless plug!

I had a great time yesterday. I had dinner with, you know… these guys. They are an awesome group, we talked about everything and had a blast. You can always count on these guys being good company. You know the ones I mean. I had dinner with a bunch of people from my local Mensa group. There, I said it.

I’ve been a member for a year now. Apparently, to mention your membership in public is considered very bad taste. I don’t get it. Probably because I believe that everyone I know, with one or two possible exceptions, would qualify, if only they took the test or pulled up their old high school or college test results. But they won’t. Because evidently, for some reason, Mensa has a bad rap with the general public. Which I think is very sad, because it really is an awesome group of people. To tell you the truth, when I joined, I didn’t expect much either.

I joined because of I11. I11 is what they now call a gifted child, which means he’s really weird and really into computers and electronics. This also means that, when I11 is bored, he’s prone to causing an unbelievable amount of trouble. After several years of struggle with his elementary school teachers, I decided that I had to keep his mind entertained at all times. I started reading books on raising gifted children, and one of them, “The Gifted Kids Survival Guide” , mentioned enrolling your child into Mensa as a good way to keep him or her busy. Except you couldn’t take the test until you were 14, and the enrollment process is very complicated for young kids. So, since I couldn’t enroll I11, I figured I’d see if I could get in myself, which would allow me to bring I11 to their events. That was how I got in. My friends warned me that I’d be bored to death, but so far, it hasn’t happened.

I admit that joining did improve my self-esteem, but not because I now consider myself smarter than most. I don’t. It’s because prior to that, I used to consider myself less intelligent than most. Let’s face it, I’m a blonde. You know how hard it is being a tall blonde with an European accent in a profession that essentially pays people for being smart? Each time I change jobs, takes me about a year just to prove to my end users, my management and my coworkers that my brain is actually functioning, just because they tend to make assumptions based on the looks. My family wasn’t helping either. My parents are perfectionists, and I am their only child who can never do anything right. Needless to say, they were the first people I showed my membership card to. It did bring them down a notch. And I finally got some well-deserved respect from my husband, as well!

But, more importantly, I am now not afraid to try new things. I used to be scared to death of screwing up, so I wouldn’t even try any new activities or learn anything new. Now I am confident that, most likely, I will succeed to some extent. And, even if I do screw up, it isn’t the end of the world. Life has never been so much fun since I left college!

Back to the group I met yesterday. I don’t know these people very well as we’ve only met at the few events my family has been able to attend. But I like them! How can you not like people that can make playing board games feel like the most fun you’ve ever had in your life? I still don’t know how they do it. Generally, board games bore me to sleep, but not when I’m with these guys! And, they sure can carry a conversation!

So if you’re reading this… log on to the Mensa website, sign up for a test, dig out your old test scores and send them in… and join already! You’ll be glad you did!

The Goldie has spoken at 9:45 AM

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