In 1987, when I was ten, my dad married Marilyn vos Savant. He was smitten by her, attracted to her porcelain beauty, her jet black hair and most certainly seduced by the celebrity of her behemoth mind. At the time, she was touted as the world’s smartest person.
And of course I was star struck too. We had a soft-back copy of the Guinness Book of World Records that we kept on the bookshelf in our family room. Inside I liked to look up Marilyn’s name listed under the highest IQ on page 29. On the opposite page was a photograph of the woman with the “world’s smallest waist” and I was often distracted from reading through the entire paragraph about intelligence quotients, mesmerized as I was by the woman’s 13 inch midsection. There was also an entry on “longest fingernails” and “lightest girl”— Lucia Zarate, who only weighed 4.7 pounds at age 17. Her tiny, doll-like features were both frightening and intoxicating. And somehow,
seeing Marilyn’s name beside those other anomalies made her brilliance seem not only legitimate but exotic.