Thursday, 10 May 2007

Putting the Men in Mensa

I was standing next to a small group of women today, when I overheard one of them say: “Of course, he is a member of Mensa.....” The others widened their eyes in admiration, and started nodding their heads solemnly.

I used to work with a couple of men who also claimed to be members of Mensa. This fact was usually uttered in reverential voices by co-workers, and people were always embarrassed to be caught doing the Sun crossword if they were around. However, I am always suspicious when I hear of someone belonging to Mensa. It seems as if they are trying to show off, but at the same time, it smacks of chippiness. One the one hand, they are saying:

‘I belong to Clever Club’

but on the other, they are saying:

‘I need something to show how clever I am, otherwise no-one is ever going to know.’

A quick look at a few Mensa websites reveals that membership can be a whole lifestyle choice. You can buy Mensa tea to put in your Mensa mug, to remind people of your intelligence, either at home or at work. You can go on holiday with the Mensa Travel Club, which sounds a bit exhausting – not just one know-it-all in the group. (Maybe the final evening sing-song in the bar is in Latin). There is even a ‘G & T advice leaflet’ which, rather disappointingly turns out to be support for Gifted and Talented children, rather than how to mix a decent pre-dinner drink.

Talking of which, I am drinking Tesco Finest Howcroft Estate Merlot (down from £7.99 to £3.99 until 15/5) and letting its rich, mellow flavour wash over me. I like Merlot, despite the bad press it received in the film 'Sideways' (great film though).

I suppose in the climate of universal dumbing down, I should not be sniping, but applauding the fact that organisations like Mensa do exist. If anything, they are likely to become even more popular as people seem to be constantly seeking a competitive advantage. If there was a Mensa for babies, then I suspect it would be overwhelmed with applications from crazed, ambitious parents, desperate for their children to be classified as Gifted and Talented.

Interestingly, the membership of Mensa is 65% male and 35% female. So I suppose the women should just get back into the kitchen (without their shoes), and make a cup of Mensa tea for the chaps then.

I think I had better pour another glass of Merlot.

By the way, before I forget, the Tesco Wine Festival finishes on 15th May. There are some fantastic bargains, including lots of excellent wines that are half price (in my book that means you can drink twice as much). Get down there before Tuesday and fill your boots!


beta mum said...

mensa schmensa - computer geeks without the computer.
Back to the Super-U rose today.
I've realised i was putting the wrong name into the username bit of the google account thingy.
It wanted my e-mail address and not my display name.
Buggery bollox.

mutterings and meanderings said...

We are women. We are clever. We don't need the Mensa bits of paper the chaps have to recognise this quality in ourselves!

dulwichmum said...

There are more men in mensa because the lazy t****** are not exhausted from night feeds and potty training and have the time when online at work to join it!

Oh sorry, did I sound ground down from multi-tasking? Now where did I put that corkscrew?...

Anonymous said...

Mensa? Deeply uncool - the best they can come up with is the actress Geena Davis. which is not saying a lot (sorry Geena).

Mensa - more like Densa methinks.

The Good Woman said...

The thing about MENSA is that it is purely IQ based. So,at its best, its a measure of potential rather than actual achievement. I'll concede to knowing men who have potential.

But I strongly suspect that women can't be bothered to spend half an hour answering riddles once they've got the kids off to bed so that someone can tell them that they've got a bit too.

Far better just to get stuff done. Or drink good wine. Cheers.

Stay at home dad said...

DM, you are very good... why feel the need to join indeed. And I love the phrase Tesco Wine Festival...

Dulwich Mum, can you come up with a disclaimer for me please!

rilly super said...

I spelt TS Eliot with two Ts on Dulwichmum's blog the other day so that's my chance of joining Mensa buggered; I am illiterate, sob

Lucy Diamond said...

A Mensa holiday...! What a nightmare - the mind boggles. Hunting for quiz nights in packs, out-clevering each other at any opportunity, bragging about their G&Ts....
Suddenly Butlins is a lot more appealing.

Belladonna said...

Drunken one - agree entirely - who would want to join mensa anyway? I've never been but I feel sure there isn't enough deodorant being used.

Rilly dearest - I don't know of course but I think it's unlikely that Mensa test for literacy. But I think you'd be buggered anyway - on the numerical reasoning front.

TS Eliot does have two ts :-)

Drunk Mummy said...

Dear beta mum - glad you are sorted out now - its what I call a 'senior moment' - I have lots of them.

M&M - absolutely, and we would never have any use for the Mensa tie.

Duwich Mum - sounds like you need to multi-task with the corkscrew, the bottle and the wine glass.

spymum - anyone who was involved with 'Cutthroat Island' can't be that smart.

good woman - you are so right. I would like to have potential. Maybe in the future I will.....

SAHD - the 'Wine Festival' is actually their phrase, not mine! - although it didn't stop me dancing in the aisles as I loaded up with cheap booze.

Dear Rilly - look at it as a lucky escape.

lucy - isn't that Mensa holiday a scary idea! I bet they don't have Redcoats either (Beigecoats maybe?)

belladonna - to paraphrase Marx (Groucho rather than Karl), I would not want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.

rilly super said...

oh belladonna, sigh, and I thought namedropping made me seem more intelligent, not less. Maybe I had too many, or not enough Ls, or I wrote ST instead of TS. It just exposes that I don't even own one of his records to check.

he was american though so can I count this towards drunkmummy's next post as well?

debio said...

Had no idea that Mensa offered an all-round life experience!

I think their 'social events' would be dire - but I could be wrong, of course, and probably am, insofar as I exhaust all my out-of-the-box thinking just trying to get through the day.

Maybe I'm just Mensa-challenged...

VanessaR said...

My husband is a physicist and I shudder at the thought of MENSA - I have this vision of geeks even more sartorially and socially challenged that the people OH used to work with!

In case he reads this I should point out that he has excellent social skills and not a single polyester shirt or Iron Maiden t-shirt in his wardrobe...