In one of our earliest conversations, my boyfriend and I talked about what superpower each of us would most like to have. (No, I do not imagine superpowers appear on most lists of questions to ask a potential date, but it sure was fun!)
He chose super speed, a lá Dash on The Incredibles. I chose the ability to throw a ping-pong ball from wherever I am and hit anyone in the world, wherever they are (with an impact speed as if I’d thrown it from across the room). It would be very handy, I explained, as a way to send brief messages. It would not actually hurt anyone, though they would not necessarily know where it came from. It could communicate annoyance or affection depending on context. I could use it get people’s attention or simply to pester my younger brothers who live in different towns. Naturally, I was serious, having given it a great deal of consideration, and he thought it was hilarious.
A couple months later, he brought me a present when he came to visit. Inside a green gift bag (my favorite color) and tissue paper, I found a package holding three ping-pong balls. I was so happy with the ping-pong balls, I did not notice the package had spaces for six until he pointed it out. He explained he put one in his apartment, one in his car, and one in his office at work “to remind me of you… Not that I really need a reminder. And since you already have my attention, you can use these for someone else.”
Now there are two ping-pong balls in my living room and one on my desk at work. I smile every time I see them.