Ignorance is Bliss

So a friend of mine suggested that I should apply to Mensa. After all, what kind of world is this when the blogger of a site called MsSmartyPants.com is not a card-carrying member of the world’s foremost nerd fraternity?

I’ve long thought about this and had even started the process years ago. There’s a test you take. I’m no stranger to tests. I take them all the time. I’ve also proven that I can pass them. (Pregnancy tests included, and for the record, PASS/FAIL is subjective here. Passing is when your desired result is achieved.)

But I’ve also been known to fail them. And Mensa’s IQ test is the one test I’m scared shitless to fail.

You see, my whole confidence as a person is built around the knowledge that I have my brains. And whether I was skinny or fat, popular or not, a success or failure, motivated or uninspired, loving or hating a job… none of that mattered because I could always tell myself I was smart and no matter the situation, I had that.

I’ll admit I’m an intelligence snob. I like to surround myself with smart people. Even my friends are smart. (If you’re funny though, you can stick around.) I become less tolerant of stupid people as time goes on. When it comes to dating, non-smart men don’t have a chance in hell, and likewise prefer that a man appreciate me for my brains. (Yes, the only online dating I do is a site called Geek to Geek… and for the record, the pickins are slim there too.)

I live for trivia nights at my local pub. I used to watch game shows all the time but, having appeared on a few of them, find them unwatchable now. (It frustrates me when I see “easy” categories, enrages me when the contestants don’t get the answers and brings back memories of my own experiences when I went down on what I considered tough questions.)

I don’t think there’s ever been an instance where I questioned my intelligence, even when in a room surrounded by multiple Jeopardy champs, Millionaire millionaires or even Mensa members. I think I hold up: I did win Ben Stein’s money, I did win twice on Jeopardy, I did take down six figures on Millionaire.

And I have taken a few IQ tests over the years, though not Mensa-sanctioned. I always land in the “genius” range, albeit in the low- to mid-range. Which is fine, at least I’m in the range… if I was smarter than that then I wouldn’t have felt the need to drop pre-calculus in high school. And math was my strong point. (In all fairness, I had gotten early acceptance to a great journalism school and knew I was never going to need math again. I wish someone had warned me about my future in poker though so I would have kept up with the math skills. Hindsight = 20/20.)

But to officialize it, to put an official seal and stamp on my so-called smartness is making me anxious. Because what if… what if I fail this test? What if Mensa says “You are NOT smarter than a fifth grader”?

My core will be shaken. Those who know me best know I take forever to bounce back from heartbreak. I get over it eventually. But this? I fear I won’t recover from a Mensa rejection. Ever. There will be no getting over this, I promise you.

Of course, all this is on the side of negative thinking. I could just be working myself into a tizzy for nothing and I could very well ace that damn test.

But in this moment, Ms. Smarty Pants, the girl with a voracious appetite for knowledge, would rather not know. Ignorance really is bliss.



Marathoner, culinarian & gourmand, beach bum, poker/trivia enthusiast, Dorothy Parker-worshipping wit and all-around OK gal who likes to travel

2 thoughts on “Ignorance is Bliss

  1. Girl, don't the IQ tests, successes in contests of the mind, etc. already provide the seal of approval on your smartness? The Mensa test is just another abitrary measurement, not the be-all, end-all definitive decider. I passed the Mensa test years ago; wasn't that difficult at the time. And I'm not smart enough to polish your shoes. Take it or don't – you're still smarter than a 5th grader.

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Rose. I know it's just a test, but it's what the test implies. It won't make me less of a person if I fail it, but it would make me sad. I'm probably worrying over nothing, but I can't make the leap just yet.

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