Monday, November 22, 2010
Ping ponging with Xavier.
He'll hardly play with me, he has so little tolerance for ineptitude. But we came upon this ping pong table in a shop in Manhattan and had to play. First of all, a chalkboard ping pong table? Genius. With Xavier's scrawl: "Apply yourself" for inspiration? I pulled out all the stops.
Ping pong is one reason Xavier and my dad really like each other. They are real competitors. In high school, my dad used to play ping pong with my boyfriends to size them up. He would start bouncing the ball awkwardly around, missing shots, letting out cries of defeat and disappointment. That was just his snare. When the boyfriend would let some sort of cocksure smile slip, my dad would immediately start slamming the ping pong ball across the net - ricocheting it all over the place. Then the boyfriend was dead. He always lost. My dad would even go to great lengths to humiliate the boy. His favorite (duly titled) was the 'crowd pleaser,' in which my dad would shout 'crowd pleaser' and crouch down to let the ball fall almost to the concrete before swooping it up with his racket to hit it back over the net to his chastened opponent.
They all lost, except Xavier. Xavier has beat my dad (once or twice). Unbelievably. I guess it is one of the surest signs that I made a great choice with Mr. Joly. (That said, Xavier did have a hard time keeping up with a few of my brothers this past Christmas).