When I was four years old, a teenage cousin showed me his rubber band ball. That’s really how this madness got started. I thought he was the coolest guy in the world, so I decided I had to have a rubber band ball too, and soon after, with my mom’s help, I started making one. At that age, though, I must have been easily distracted; when the ball reached the size of a large grape, I lost interest in it, and my mom tucked it away in a desk drawer.
A year later, at the starting-to-be-obsessed-with-things age of five, I rediscovered the ball and put in a little more effort. I snatched up every loose rubber band I could find, and when those ran out, I convinced my parents to buy me a small package of bands at a stationery store. Within a matter of days, my small grape had expanded to the size a lemon, and I was hooked.
In 10th grade, when the ball had a diameter of 15 inches, I used it for my math fair project. A few years later, when it surpassed the 100-pound plateau, I started buying oversize bands in bulk, and several years after that, I was invited to bring the ball to Junior Collector’s Day at the Queens Museum of Art.
My rubber band ball weighs 289 pounds now (or 131 kilograms for those of you who are smart enough to use the metric system). I’m trying to be consistent and add one pound of bands per month — just enough to keep the outer layer fresh without making it too big to fit through the door of my New York City apartment. I’m not sure what’ll happen to the ball in 10 or 20 or 100 years, but for now, I'm just glad to have it and to let people know that it exists.