Parents: Still Not Always Right
I can still remember what a shock it was when finally freed from my ultra-protective parents and away at college, I realized that they were in fact, not always right about everything. I can't recall what event or discovery catalyzed said revelation, but I do remember feeling like my very being had been shaken to the core. Things were never quite the same between me and them after that. Those of you who discovered the concept of rebellion earlier in life probably think that I sound absurd. But hey, I was raised in a very insular environment by two people who I trusted because I wasn't presented with another option, and because neither of them had ever done anything (that I knew of) to make me believe otherwise. Not having siblings probably factored highly into that equation as well. Going away to college exposed me to a slew of new experiences and characters whose backgrounds varied from mine. Eventually, my way of thinking got a little, okay, a lot, more independent.
Since then I have grown to find small doses of delight in situations that reveal the limits of my parents' knowledge. Of course they're both highly intelligent, well-read individuals, but ultimately they are not immune to the amusing hysterias that our information-age often produces. Case in point: Earlier today, my mother forwarded me an email supposedly originating from John's Hopkins University warning us that we shouldn't put bottles of water in the freezer or microwave plastic because of some chemical reaction that will most certainly give us cancer. This information immediately struck me as suspect. Given the fact that millions of people eat foods that have been microwaved under plastic, it seemed unlikely that this could be true. I mean, surely the food scientists at Lean Cuisine have tested out the containers their food comes in to make sure it won't give us life threatening illnesses when it's heated for a few minutes. Do they think we don't care if we get cancer as long as we're skinny? And surely the geniuses at Rubbermaid do a little investigative testing when they invent their products to screen for the issue as well. I mean, that kind of sounds like a class action lawsuit waiting to happen, dontcha think?
Mom however (God bless her), has never quite embraced microwave technology. She's not convinced it's a process that will enhance her life in any way, and she's paranoid that people who regularly employ it will eventually develop third eyes. So I suppose it's not surprising that she felt compelled to forward that particular electronic missive on to me. My initial response expressed my skepticism towards the whole notion, but didn't discount it altogether. Since I'm not a scientist (nor do I play one on this blog) I don't feel confident knocking down theories supposedly originated by the esteemed scientific minds at JHU. But then I remembered snopes.com and felt inclined to do some quick research.
Just as I suspected, the email was a complete and total hoax. I sent mom the url, feeling a bratty pang of satisfaction. No response just yet. I'm sure she's miffed that I put the kibosh on her mission in life to become the Erin Brokovitch of microwave technology.