It is probably a given that, except in emergencies, decisions made after some reflection are usually better than those made in a hurry.
For example, when microwave ovens first came on the market about 30 years ago and my parents praised them as a wonder of technology, I wasn’t immediately convinced that they were a good thing. I was into my “green, save the earth” phase. It didn’t seem natural to cook food with radio waves. I imagined myself eating microwaved food and then walking around like a radio transmitter. Was this stuff going to be good for me? Would I glow in the dark? Or maybe I’d be able to listen to Radio Tokyo in my head as I dozed off to sleep at night.
My mother insisted that her microwave was a godsend. “It saves me so much time. All those hours slaving over the stove to make a meal. Now, I put it in the microwave and in minutes it’s ready.”
I wasn’t convinced. “I don’t mind cooking the old-fashioned way.”
“But it only takes a few minutes to thaw something from the freezer or a few seconds to heat up a muffin.”
“I’ve got time. I just don’t trust them.” And then sure enough I heard about some stupid people misusing them. Even now I can’t bring myself to tell about how little animals were hurt. “No,” I told my mother, “I’m not going to get one.”
I held out for another few years and then decided that I was being stupid. Everyone was getting them. My parents were getting a newer one and I could have their old one. It still worked. It was just a bit slow.
Wow! If that was slow, the newer ones must be amazing. Okay, I was convinced. Maybe a microwave was a good thing after all. At least no one could say I rushed into this decision.
When the old microwave gave out, I bought a new one. It was a good one, and lasted for years and years and years. I loved how it thawed things from the freezer in minutes and heated up muffins in a few seconds. Husband and I even had a place built into the cabinets of our new house for the microwave. You can see now that I was never planning to be without a microwave.
Eventually that microwave had to be replaced with another of the same brand but they were making them a bit smaller now and the cabinet space was a bit large. No matter. I was happy with my microwave.
Fast forward many years to the present. I had soup in the microwave and as it thawed it smelled less like soup and more like electric wiring heating up. I shut off the microwave but everything seemed to be okay. I mentioned it to my husband and he wasn’t too concerned. “Just keep an eye on it.”
The next few time I used it, the smell was still there, but the food heated and there was no smoke, so I didn’t panic. “But we should start looking for a new microwave.”
“Yeah, we’ll see. As long as it still works, we might as well use it.”
“Fine.” I was too busy to go shopping for appliances anyway. “Suits me.”
The next day my husband stood at the microwave heating a cup of coffee when I heard a snap. “Yikes!” He jumped back. “Did you see that flash?”
“No, but I can smell it!” From the far side of the kitchen I had no trouble recognizing the smell of burning electric wires.
“Here, I’ll pull it out and you unplug it.” And that was the end of the second Panasonic Genius. But to be fair, it didn’t owe us a thing. It had to be at least 15 years old. “Tomorrow we go shopping for a new microwave!”
You might say that was a flash decision.