DEAR TRIVIA: I THOUGHT I WAS SMART, THANK YOU FOR THE EGO CHECK

Have you ever wondered how smart you are? Not book smart, per se, but life smart? How much general knowledge do you contain about things that may, or may not, be helpful to you in some capacity throughout life? If your answer is no, then why even continue? I have to believe you can guess where this post is going and it’s pretty much strictly for anyone ever who thought, I need to prove my brain skills against strangers at a local bar on a weeknight – AKA trivia night.

I know for a fact that my general knowledge, and overall trivia skills, are pretty much worthless. There isn’t a lot of room in my head for random tidbits of things. Because it’s full of other items like how to do my job, how much I love my dog, figuring out how to feed myself a healthy amount of times each day, remembering to do chores, memorizing every single Chipotle location within 15 miles of where I live, etc. You know, crucial survival skills basically. 

However, my job title makes people believe that somehow my IQ is at least average, if not exponentially above that mark. And so they frequently tell me how smart I am. Which causes some internal dilemmas until my ego takes over and I make poor decisions … like smack talking other trivia teams. Despite knowing deep in my soul that I’m not able to back it up. Remember growing up when there would be kids who would crush school and kids who would crush life? Book smart versus street smart. And I always believed you were somewhere on that spectrum. Until I became an adult with free evenings and friends.

There is a third type of smart, I’ve learned. Trivia smart. This is a person who just knows things. Not current things necessarily. Not political things necessarily. Not natural events necessarily. Not history necessarily. Not even sports necessarily. No. These people know stuff in every possible category over all of eternity. How?! I genuinely want to know so I can stop losing and embarrassing myself every Tuesday night. 

For starters, where are you getting this information? Google? Reddit? The newspaper? I honestly don’t know. I scroll through the major news headlines every day and have yet to contribute to a current events conversation in one of my group chats because the stuff they talk about I have to re-research. And by the time I have any facts the convo has taken a massive diversion and I’m just confused again. It’s a cycle of playing catch-up and not in a good way.

My next question for these trivia geniuses, is how do you retain this information? My boss has to remind me every morning of our daily standup meeting and I’ve been working there for months. One would think that I would have learned how to open my calendar by now, and yet here we are. Especially if it’s some random fact. That usually goes in one ear and out the other. If you asked me 15 minutes after reading it what the statue’s name was and why it was taken down, it would be a good day if I answered half of those questions. Maybe I never really learned how to “read”? Because it seems to me like I read to get something over with and other people read to learn. So clearly one of us is doing it wrong and one of us is winning trivia. I’ll let you figure out who goes where in that equation.

On the bright side, every trivia team needs that person who is simply there for entertainment, friendship, and alcohol. I am that person. I own that spot on the team. I’m also great at writing their answers down. So they don’t have to stop eating the plate of nachos in front of them. My greatest contribution to my team thus far, has been embellishing us with a name worthy of all the trophies. Not saying that I nailed it, but like, I absolutely nailed it and we are iconically the best-named team each week. No big deal, I’m kind of great at being creative, though apparently not as great at knowing useful things. You decide which is more fun.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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