Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Adam conducts with his superpowers
In a recent episode of This American Life on Superpowers, the first act featured a story where John Hodgman asks the question,”Which superpower would you choose, the power of flight or the power of invisibility?” How you answer tells a lot about what kind of person you are.
My first thought was invisibility, but then I went back and forth on the flying. I often have dreams of flying, of traveling through the world either by gliding through the air or just over the ground effortlessly, or by shrinking the earth into the size of a map so I could walk into another country with a single step. But then the sneaky suspicious side of me would just love to spy on people when I am invisible.
In the end, how you choose shows whether the gallant person with nothing to hide overcomes the darker, guilty, suspicious person. They said that men choose flying more often and women choose invisibility.
But the superpower that I would want over anything else would be the ability to be in more than one place at a time. I could finally be supermom and work full time, take care of the kids full time, and even split my time helping with homework, piano or violin practicing at the same time. Of course these leads to no down time, but I could choose when and whether or not to split or clone or whatever it takes to be in more than one place at a time.
Just this past weekend, I wished for this superpower again. It was a beautiful Saturday morning, and I drove my convertible to my therapeutic massage appointment. The weather was absolutely perfect, and I put on my music and enjoyed my little getaway from the kids. My husband Doug took my son to his first soccer game of the season, which is something that I’ve done countless times. However, this time my son Adam scored three out of the five goals helping his team to its first solid win in ages! Oh how I wished I could have been there! But if I were able to be in those two places at the same time, would I have relished my getaway if I weren’t really away? I’ll worry about those philosophical dilemmas when I get to them.
The power I choose for Doug is the ability to stop time. In Nicholson Baker’s book, The Fermata, the main character uses this power to do all sorts of kinky sex acts, but there are many more uses for this power. Doug would love to invoke time stopping when the kids get too loud and crazy. He could just stop time and everything would be quiet. He could catch his breath, relax and relish the moment of silence. Plus with his new job, he can finally get everything done despite our jam-packed family schedule.
My son Adam is pure of heart and would embrace flying without question. He loves to defy gravity on the swings. It is completely fitting for him.
My daughter Dova would definitely be the invisible one. She already loves to sneak up on you and scare you any chance she gets. Hopefully this won’t lead to a dark life of deception in the future.
So what superpower would you choose? Do me a favor and comment here on this post about ABC's No Ordinary Family.