My husband and I were going through some old pictures. He found an old picture of me when I was a little kid.
I’m sitting on top of a ping-pong table in my basement. It was our rec (recreation) room. It was supposed to be for parties. We had a few of them, but a lot of the time I’d play ping-pong with my dad.
I remember when I started to play, I couldn’t even reach the table. My dad was patient with me. He’d spend time, when he wasn’t working, aiming the ball at me. He showed me how to aim the paddle, and properly hit the ball.
After awhile I could hit the ball back. We spent a lot of time playing ping-pong together. I got pretty good at it. I can still hear the pride in his voice, “ Say, Barbie
that’s pretty good.” I guess practice really does make perfect. (Or close to perfect). He didn’t ever let me lose. Maybe not a great lesson for life, but my dad was a kind person.
I can still smell the paddle. It had a little bit of a musty odor. The ping-pong balls were bouncy, and I chased plenty of them. You could dent them pretty easily. They were light as a feather.
Time went on. Naturally, I wanted to spend more time with people my own age. I grew up, got married, and left home.
When I was 26, my dad died, and I still think about him. I’d give anything to just play one more game with him. I bet he’d let me win.