Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Top Two Percent

Yesterday, I did it again. I had dinner with a bunch of our local Mensa members. I do this a couple times a year.

In reality, the reason I went yesterday was to say good-bye to everybody. I had been thinking about quitting, i.e. not renewing when the time comes.

I joined two years ago, because of I12. He was young and inquisitive, and I thought that, if I could take him to the events, he’d benefit from it. Fast forward two years, I12 is a teenager, and doesn’t want to go to any events. And I cannot really blame him, given that the average age of our local mensan is somewhere between forty-five and fifty-five, in my estimation.

So, he refuses to go. Ever. That kinda defeats the purpose of me being a member. So I figured I’d go ahead and quit. But, at yesterday’s dinner, I met so many interesting people, I decided to give it another shot.

When I came in yesterday, the first people I saw were the regular bunch. The “In” Crowd.

Don’t get me wrong, I have all sorts of respect for the “In” crowd. They run the local chapter, they plan the functions, they volunteer all over the place, and basically keep the whole thing going. But, if you’re not one of them, well for one thing, they won’t sit with you at dinner.

Last year at a similar dinner, Mr. Goldie and I got seated across the table from three little kids age eight, five, and three. The “In” crowd sat at a different table, while we were trying to make adult conversation over the kids’ heads.

Yesterday, I come in, and miraculously, I’m told that I can sit with the “In” crowd. “Here’s a seat for you”. “Wait a minute, we’ve got to move because we want to sit together”. Several people shuffle around, and, like magic, my free spot disappears. Instead, I’m told to go sit at a small table in the corner.

At that point, I really felt like leaving. I even walked out, saying I’d left something in my car. Once outside, I gave myself a pep talk. I was able to convince myself to be a bigger person, go back, and say my good-byes like I had planned to. I took a deep breath, and went back inside, to sit in the far corner with five total strangers.

Well guess what. We ended up being the fun table. We had a choice selection of people in our far corner.

Successful business couple – a couple where each spouse runs their own, highly successful, business.

Well-organized woman – we’ve got to thank her for the fact that we had five times as much fun as everyone else. She quickly got us all introduced to one another, and kept the conversation going all evening. Okay, a couple of times she did come across as patronizing, but that’s to be expected when you are so well organized. I can live with that. In fact, I’m very experienced at living with that. I get training from my parents every day.

Nice guy – he was there with WOW. Nice guy. Good listener. I like that in a man.

Geeky kid – well, not technically a kid, the guy is in his 20's, but you know the type I mean. I swear, I felt like I was having dinner with I12. I liked that, though. I have a soft spot for geeky guys, since one of my kids, half of my friends, and about ninety percent of my coworkers are exactly that. Get a load of this - the kid joined Mensa so he could meet girls. Hold this thought. Now scroll up to where I say what the average age is. Poor guy. He’s got no chances, unless he’s into elderly ladies, which would be really sick and I don’t even want to visualize that, so I’ll let it go.

After we each had a couple of drinks, there was much bonding at the table. Turns out, we all live relatively close to one another. The women were giving Geeky Kid advice on finding the right girl. That was so very touching. Of course, right after Geeky Kid left, these same women said that he didn’t have a chance. I have to disagree. I liked Geeky Kid. He’s nice. He has potential. He just needs to give it some time. You know, mature a little.

Heck, I have a buddy who is, by far, the biggest geek in the universe, and he’s getting married next month. Good things do come to geeks who wait.

At the end, we decided that we should all come to the events and sit together. I said I’d come if the events are held on our side of town.

That means I’ve gone back on my decision to quit.

Now I’ve gone and confused myself. I no longer know if I should quit or stay.

The original reason why I joined (I12) is no longer valid. I could remain a member for the sake of my own entertainment, but I do not have this kind of time. I have work, family, friends, my second circle of friends, and this blog, which is, as you all know from your own experience, a major time hog. I’ve got to start volunteering at my church already, I’ve been a member for eight years and I barely volunteer at all. I’ve got to start volunteering at I12’s school, because I like it. If, after all that, I still have some free time left, then I should get a dog, because K9 is dying to have one. Bottom line is, I don’t really have the time to be a member.

Besides, I may be wrong, but the organizations seems sort of pointless to me. So this group of people get together and try to get along with each other on the assumption that they are all like-minded because hey, they all have roughly the same IQ. So they play board games together sometimes. I still don’t get it. I think that for a group to stick together, there has to be a common interest. It has to be built around a common hobby or something. Like a bowling league, for instance. I do bowl on a league. There are about fifty of us, and we all have something in common. What do random Mensa members have in common, I still haven’t figured out.

Or else the organization needs to be doing some outreach work or some such. That also is a great bonding experience. I don’t see much of that either. Yet, anyway.

So, essentially, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t quit. But then I come to a random gathering and end up meeting these really neat people, and now I feel like sticking around because, what if I run into them again? I really liked the business couple, and the WOW, and the Nice Guy, and the Geeky Kid. It would be fun to meet them again in the future. Of course, I’ll probably never be a part of the "In" crowd, but at this point, it seems like a good rather than a bad thing.

This is getting really confusing. If anybody’s reading this, feel free to give me some advice. Should I quit or should I stay? It’s $60 per year. Your thoughts?

The Goldie has spoken at 12:59 AM

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