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Tuesday
Apr092013

The Truth About Tupperware

I've been stuck on this post for days. The words are in my brain but I can't shape them into the sentences I need them to be. It's like that time I tried my hand at a potter's wheel. Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze made it seem so easy during Ghost. They lied. There I was with my lump of clay, spinning, spinning, spinning, the clay rising just like my hopes, only to come crashing down into a blob of despair and frustration.

That's this post.

Only slightly less lumpy.

The topic vexing me?

Tupperware.

That's not where you thought I was going with this post, is it? Bear with me.

Tupperware is the devil for so many reasons.

Starting with that moment you want to use a certain piece of Tupperware only to realize you don't own it, to that next moment when you pull out a piece of Tupperware from the dishwasher where your children thoughtfully placed it only to realize it is now less Tupperware and more melted plastic to that final moment when you open up the cabinet you store your Tupperware and it all falls out, a tidal wave of overpriced plastic crashing against the shore of your slightly dirty, extremely ugly linoleum.

That's my life right now. Tupperware. 

And I seem to be missing the one lid I need, rendering the entire container useless. I may as well just use a bowl. Which I would, but my children have either broken most of them or hid them under their beds to live amongst the lost socks, the dust bunnies and the dog-eared magazines I'm sure I'm not supposed to know about. 

I was 18 years old when I was invited to my first Tupperware party. One of my friend's older sisters was hosting the event and I was happy to accept the invite because it contained the word "party." Little did I know that a Tupperware party, or a candle party or a jewellery party? Those aren't parties. They're smaller circles of hell.

I walked in to the room expecting music and laughter and booze and found middle aged women kvetching about their kids, their husbands, their jobs, surrounded by displays of colourful plastic kitchen wares and a dried up cheese platter. Just when I thought I could escape, the hostess and her vendor swarmed the guests and put the screws to them. It was my first experience with a high pressure sales tactic and when I realized you don't just show up at a tupperware party for the free crackers, you are actually expected to purchase something, I faked illness and barely escaped with my life and barely left with my clothes still on my back.

Wait. Wrong story.

My point is Tupperware parties are not parties. And they're not for those who have to smuggle their dirty laundry into their parent's house to use Mom and Dad's washer and dryer because they don't have enough change to pay for the coin washers in their own crappy apartment building. 

Then I had kids. 

And I found myself pilfering my mother's Tupperware collection. Because Tupperware? Was suddenly useful. I needed it like a toddler needs crayons to draw on the walls with. Oh sure, I could use the cheap disposable crap you buy in the grocery store, but I craved the real stuff. The stuff that wouldn't melt if you left it on a counter top in the sun. 

My mom would send home left overs from a family dinner and she'd hesitate before scooping the food into a Tupperware container. "You'll bring this back, right? Tupperware isn't cheap, you know," she said as I crossed my fingers behind back with one hand and snatched the container out of her hands with the other.

"I promise Mom. I'll bring it right back."

I never did. I was a Tupperware thief. Over the years, I amassed quite the collection too, until my mother finally wised up to my antics and started sending leftovers home in ziploc baggies. She cut me off from my supply and I had to find a new source.

My Tupperware supply dwindled, lost like matching socks until I had basically none. Tupperware is overrated, I declared, and instead, invested in glass containers with lids. I even broke down and bought the cheap imitation stuff I had scorned for so long, figuring my kids are going to lose it anyways.

But none of it was the same.

None of it was Tupperware.

And that's how I found myself staring at a Tupperware web site, adding item after item to my virtual shopping cart until I realized, hundreds of dollars later, that I am middle aged with a mental sickness no doctor can cure. Because only deranged lunatics spend this much money on plastic products to keep their pickles fresh.

There was a time, when I was younger, I thought the signs of adult success were a lovely house and a vehicle that didn't have rust holes in its side panels.  No longer. Now that I've ripened in age, I've realized mortgages are over-rated and rust panels are the equivalent of vehicular cellulite. As long as the seatbelts work and the wheels still turn, I won't judge. Because to me, the real sign of success is the size of one's Tupperware collection and whether you have all the matching lids.

I'm a caricature of my former self, preoccupied with proper storage containers, matching tea towels and finding the perfect tablecloth. I'm like the cliche about the balding man with a sports car, only substitue it with an apron and plastic pasta containers instead. I don't know how I got here but I've got to tell you, it's very organized and tidy where I am.

I don't even recognize myself anymore. If I start putting doilies on every surface I'm going to need one of you to hit me over the head with a shovel and put me out of my misery. Please.

Just make sure my mother gets my tupperware collection. I probably owe her at least half of it anyways.

Reader Comments (26)

Ikea has the best tupperware like containers, they stack properly and don't stain.

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlwaysARedhead

some Tupperware meets a worse fate than melting - sitting in a man's trunk for months, to be culled and brought inside with some silly hope of resurrection and reuse, only to smell up the kitchen before being tossed in the trash.

Not even the recycling.

Awesome stuff here! First time visiting.

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEli@coachdaddy

I just went to my first Tupperware party this year, and was smuggling that stuff into my house after like it was illicit drugs. Thank goodness I don't think that my husband would ever imagine how much a plastic container could cost!

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTara

I definitely have Tupperware envy! I've got plenty of the cheap dollar store and supermarket crap and even a few pieces of decent Rubbermaid but, someday, when I have Tupperware, I'll know that I've made it!

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKat

I swear by the Ziploc and Gladware storage stuff. It's cheap, so you don't feel like you've lost a lot of money if they walk away, melt, turn into science projects in the back of the fridge (Don't judge me!), or whatever. Once a year, usually right before Thanksgiving, we donate all that we've collected, and go buy another set. Voila! No more lost lids!

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCrickett

so THAT is my problem... I don't own a single piece of real tupperware. I KNEW there was something wrong with me.

I have just always known I can't be trusted with things that are that expensive. I will for sure lose it, or melt it, or something. And anything that can't be washed in a dishwasher isn't allowed in my house because I can barely manage to wash the things that ARE allowed in there.

But mostly I just can't have nice things. My life doesn't allow for it. Trainwreck I tell you.

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTarasview

Yes!! Tupperware is the sign that you have officially made it. I right now do not have a kitchen of my own as I have just moved in with dad due to Mr. Big's sudden relocation for work so kitchen materials I have none but I do know that once I do have my kitchen once again, Mr. Big will be buying said Tupperware because as a cook, he cannot tolerate the cheap stuff for his creations.

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKrystal

tupperware has a lifelong guarantee. here where i live, so probably also where you live, you can bring all those crazy broken bits to your nearest tupperware party-person and get them replaced. yes.

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermia

There is a lot to be said for the real stuff! Tupperware is amazing. I have the junk, and some rubbermaid... and a few loved pieces of Tupperware that I will never part with. I will just keep adding! I would rather spend money on a few good pieces with lifetime guarantee the junk that will melt, made with who knows what? Everyone loves disposable... sigh.

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Love Thy Tupperware; Label Thy Tupperware. <<words to live by! You mother could have used some labels before all her Tupperware disappeared ;-)

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMumby

When life has you stressed, perusing Tupperware may be just the thing. Calms the nerves.

I had the lovely nesting set of mixing bowls and my husband ruined it. The biggest one actually CRACKED and was lost to me forever. My mil keeps sending me Snapware for Christmas and while it's okay, it doesn't always snap which is irritating. Maybe I need to make more women friends so I can do a Tupperware party...the women here seem more into Sixty-six bags.

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Barrett

My favorite piece is the orange peeler - those are THE BOMB! Of course I snitched my mom's and the ONLY way to get one is to go to a party and it's like a give-away. You can't BUY THEM! And now that I'm thinking about it, the stolen orange peeler may have been that noise last time I used the garbage disposal....damn.

April 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

I buy the cheap ones too. Yet, if it's payday, I buy the ones with snap lids or screw on lids.

It's funny about what Tupperware does to a person. MY emotional connection is the old orange bowls (cup size) with the traditional white/faded lids with those circles on them. Anyway, when I would get sick, my mom would warm honey, lemon and I'm almost certain whiskey up in those and I would sit in front of the tv with my Mom Prescription.

Not quite the same thing, but I saw on The Pinterest a photo of a brand new sponge for the sink, and the caption was "You know your life has taken a turn when THIS makes you unbelievably happy." Yeah, same goes for Tupperware :-)

April 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

I went to a party, I have a 50.00 salad spinner I don't use. :( Now Avon? there is a place I can lost in every second Tuesday night.

April 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkyooty

I've taken to tossing my Tupperware. If I go more than a few days unable to find the matching bottom or lid, out it goes. It hurts at first, but then it feels so damn good. I wish I could apply it to other areas of my life but for now, at least my container drawer is looking less crowded. I've never paid a lot because I just bide my time until the holidays when people bring dishes in plastic. If you leave it, it's mine. And yes, sometimes, I might make sure you leave it. (Secretly, except not so secretly anymore since I'm about to tell you, I tend to steal utensils from family. My FIL has really nice serving spoons. His set of 8 has been brought down to 6 in the past year.)

April 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArnebya

There is many misconceptions about Tupperware. Yes it is expensive but what plastic container has a life-time warranty? None but Tupperware does on Breakage, Cracking, Peeling and Chipping. If they can not replace it they offer you a credit to buy something that is new and improved or very similar to what you already had.
Tupperware also will allow you to just buy the pieces your missing like a seal for that bowl or container or vice versa.
All Tupperware is dish washer safe if placed on the top rack away from the heating element. In some of the new dish washers there is no more heating elements that are visible so the Tupperware can go on either rack.
The way Tupperware can be purchased has changed over the years. You don't have to attend a party to get it. You can find a consultant close to you and place an outside order, purchase from a consultants website or attend a party or have your own party earn what you want for free by the amount of your party sales.
For any wondering how to find a consultant simply go to either of these websites:
www.tupperware.com or www.tupperware.ca
Near the top right corner is a spot that says " Find a Tupperware Consultant"

I hope this clears up any misconceptions about Tupperware.

April 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKimbre Bellhouse

Ahhh! My Mom totally sends home leftovers to me in ziplock bags now. I got caught too...

April 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAliciaC

As a mostly-lurker I realize I'm not entitled to have strong opinions but...
That part about being middle-aged? You take that back right now, missy!
We're about the same age and that age? It is *not* middle!
Thank you, and I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

April 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSusannahS

LOL, good post, thank for the chuckle, I was mourning a lost lid just today :(

April 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

So I have thrown out most of my tupperware (it was ugly forest green nineties stuff) and gone to glass containers which I ADORE.

Those that are left that is.

April 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKelley @ magnetoboldtoo

I know this post was all about tupperware, but you want to know what jumped out at me? You calling yourself middle aged. HELLO! We're the same damn age, please don't do that to me!!

April 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTracey

My mom has this gigantic square Tupperware box like thing that is about 1100 years old. She uses it to store a whole season's worth of Christmas cookies. My sister and I fight about who gets it when mom dies. I'm the oldest. Bet your ass it's going to live at my house.

April 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJill Dettman

I use the plastic Snapware I use in the pantry to hold sugar and flour, and big canning jars for all the random grains and such I keep in the pantry.

For leftovers and the like though, I use a combo of the Snapware Glasslock, and the Pyrex with the plastic lids. I like glass mostly because plastic smells like marinara forever after it gets in there once... or garlic... or whatever smelly food you put in it. I can't hang. I keep some cheapo plastic for sending leftovers home with people... mostly Talenti Gelato containers (don't judge!) or the kind you get with cold cuts... but most all of MY food is stored in the glass ones.

April 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermissloopy

My mom nearly missed her surprise baby shower because her family told her it was a Tupperware party. On the day of she suddenly realized a Tupperware party sounded like a sucky way to spend a Saturday and called to cancel. People flipped out and had to more or less kidnap her. Honestly I think it was their own fault. Who gets excited about a Tupperware party?

April 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStacey

Tupperware is pretty bad-ass for many reasons, but the main one on my mind is the fact that almost any plastic container in our cupboard gets called tupperware. Kinda like kleenex for tissues, ziplocs and band-aids.

April 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJana Francis

This was so interesting to read. I have used Tupperware for a long time and finally started selling in Feb of this year. My advice, watch for sales! We have new sales every month. Eventually what you want will be on sale. And then you better grab it:) I have a list of "watch for" items. People let me know what they want and I let them know when they are on sale. You can also earn your Tupperware for free by hosting a party. You can even have an online party.
I also do fundraisers. This catalog has different products than the regular catalog. And you thought you had everything:) I would be happy to help you with anything you need. I'm always looking for new team members. Just $30 to start your business. And you get over $300 of products in your kit!

June 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKristin Benichou
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