This one time, I got into MENSA. I’m not tryin’ to brag or nothing; it just happened. Well, I took the test, so I guess I put that ball into motion. I only took the test because David Sedaris took it (en français), and he gave me the idea to do it too. The test was given in a local library. At that time I still smoked cigarettes, and I also had a broken foot. (I don’t know why I mention this, but for me, it places me at a certain point in my life, although I do not remember the exact year.) I passed the test despite totally guessing all over the math section.
Membership in MENSA is a moneymaker for them, and at the time, I paid $50 for one year of membership. For the price, I got their snobby magazine and invites to awkward local MENSA meetups. I went to one, a monthly dinner at someone’s house. The food was delicious, but the company was just…weird. Everyone was very academic, and although I also got a pretty piece of paper from a university, I’m kinda more of a blue collar gal. The evening culminated in a trivia game that was the hardest fucking trivia I’ve ever played. I’m normally pretty good at trivia, but the game left me feeling really stupid. A couple people dominated the trivia, which also made it extremely unfun. I did not attend any more MENSA shit.
I also got the MENSA magazine, the title of which I am too lazy to look up right now. The magazine was interesting, but the input of its readers was unpleasant. Asia Carrera was featured in the yearly issue about MENSA members. The cover also featured pierced and tattooed people in MENSA. Subsequently, the letters to the editor section was flooded with complaints about Carrera’s inclusion and the “offensive” cover. Around this same time, marijuana (and whether or not “smart” people use it) started being heavily debated in the same LOE section. It seemed like every issue featured more and more debating on these two issues, until I just stopped caring and wrote off 90% of dues-paying MENSA members as pricks.
So, yeah, it was fun to pass the test and be labeled smarty-smart, but half of me thinks it’s just a ploy to flatter folks out of $50 a year. If you want to feel like a moron while playing trivia with people that put the “strange” in “stranger,” then I guess it’s for you. But if you just want to argue about porn stars and marijuana with people that think they’re smart, save $50 make an account at Gawker.