19/09/2009

Why does nobody play cards? Or, why I love Mensa

A workmate of mine is going on a cruise next week with his girlfriend. In fact, the itinerary was identical to the one I went on about 10 years ago. Ah, nostalgia!

One of the best memories I had of the trip was meeting some interesting people in the card room. I loved playing card games, and was glad to find people to play 500 and Euchre (and a little Bridge) with. I could seldom find people in my life to play card games with (even The Ferret doesn't play those games, sadly), so this is a big deal for me. :-P

(The other thing I really loved about the trip was all the yummy lobsters they served in touristy areas—way expensive, but way worth it for a seafood lover like me. But this post isn't about seafood, so. :-P)


Anyway, years later, I joined Mensa, mostly due to a dare that my best friend struck with me. She was studying intelligence testing for her psych degree, and did an online intelligence test and scored highly for it, so she asked me to do it to see how my score compared with hers. We both scored similarly.

But you know, online tests don't tell you very much. So I said to her, maybe you should do the Mensa test, and if you get in, you'll know how smart you are! She was…self-conscious, not wanting to face the prospect of flunking the test. So I said, how about we both do it, and see who gets in! I fulfilled my end of the bargain. She, to the best of my knowledge, still owes me. :-P


Anyway, Mensans come in all shapes and sizes, and while stereotypically, non-Mensans probably think of Mensans as people who yabber about quantum physics and rocket science all day, really, I don't go to Mensa gatherings for any of that. No, I'm there for something much more intellectual. :-P

At least in New Zealand, Mensans play card games. I kid you not.

So we'd stay up till 3 am playing 500 and (when we stop being able to be bothered to concentrate) various other card games. It's my favourite part of Mensa gatherings, much more than the talks or whatever else they plan in their official schedule.

Anyway, I'm in the US now (why, how things change in the nine months since I last wrote!). Next year, there will be a joint American/Canadian Mensa gathering, which I intend to attend. May there be lots and lots of card games!

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