Saturday, 29 June 2013

The Tyranny of Tupperware

Do you have a cupboard like this in your house?


No matter where we live and how super duper the kitchen, the plastic containers will not be contained and spew and overflow across shelves, a ramshackle pile of lids spilling out on to the kitchen floor as soon as I open the door.  It is a small gripe, perhaps, but a source of great irritation for me and badly behaved tubs would go in my Room 101. I do wish that there was an aesthetically pleasing storage system for, well...storage.


It's hard to believe that at one time the Tupperware Party was the highlight of the social calendar. Your prowess as housewife supreme in the 1960s was measured by the quality of your polypropylene. We are still ever enthusiastic about plastic, though just in a different guise. You can see the obsession in all its glory with just a quick glance at the catalogue of 'home of creative kitchenware' - Lakeland. They have plastic storage in every form for every available use -  onion dome, cereal dispenser, bacon box, salad crisper, cheese preserver...there's even a special two section 'breakfast to go' container for your muesli and yogurt with a inclusive spoon in the lid!

I confess to having bought several varieties of food storage including the 'lunch cube' which was so cleverly designed that I never really got the hang of using it. It was quite tiresome filling up all the different compartments and when at lunchtime I finally remembered how to open the wretched thing it would spring open, invariably upside down, and I'd end up with hummus and carrot sticks on my lap.  The prize for the most stupid name though has to be Lock & Lock. Do you think they just gave up trying to think of something creative or inspiring or is it an in-company joke? Maybe they meant to call it 'Load n Lock' but the managing director misheard. Their containers certainly keep things airtight but once locked (twice) there's no getting it open again is there, not without ripping a nail off anyway.

(image credit: orphankittenrescue.com)

I think the continuing tyranny of tupperware is all down to collective guilt, guilt over how much food we waste.  We don't quite know what to do with an almost half full tin of baked beans or that hardly touched salad and so we hide our shame in a plastic box only for it to be thrown out several weeks later when we've run out of fridge space.  You can see I've been pondering this for some time and in doing so I have also discovered certain universal truths:

1. That no matter how many plastic containers you have, you will always have twice as many lids.  The only exception to this is round lids.  They are the first to disappear.

2. Of all the lids only three will actually fit.  This is because of a strange time-related shrinking process or possibly the dishwasher causing some sort of lid-warping mutation to take place.


3. At some stage in your life you will be guilty of tupperware theft.  This is most likely to happen at a social gathering where your better-plastic-equipped neighbour/friend brings food in a container that you covet and you accidentally on purpose forget to return it or substitute it with a mouldy old one of yours by mistake. 

4. When you are offered something really yummy that you are actually going to eat there will not be even one suitably sized container to put it in. Once yummy offering has gone dry with upturned edges, you will then miraculously find the perfect box (with correctly fitting lid).

5. That men don't really care about tupperware at all.  They are quite content to use your best container (the only one without bolognese pock marks) for storing engine parts in and then, after a quick rinse, use to reheat last night's takeaway.



Linking up this post with Sarah at Hello Wall with The Monday Club.

themondayclub



9 comments:

  1. Oh Helen, this post really made me laugh, I have a cupboard just like it and finding a matching lid is almost impossible! Julie x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to know I'm not the only one with such a messy cupboard, Julie. I'm planning on organising it but just can't find the motivation!

      Delete
  2. Bwahahahahaha! And yet, Tupperware is pretty much the best baby toy ever invented. Loved this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right - it is a fantastic toy. I tried to find a photo I had of S at about 9 months or so, emptying the cupboard all over the floor and then piling the containers up like building blocks.

      Delete
  3. Grrrr! Only this morning I was having a rant about the location of all our Tupperware boxes - I couldn't even find one! Ours are most definitely in Narnia...or nicked by someone at school....or thrown in the bin along with the contents of the lunchbox.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, yes, I'd forgotten about all the ones left at school or accidentally thrown away. Every time we've moved house we've also discovered a grass and snail filled container in the garden somewhere - what's that about!

      Delete
  4. A whole blog on tuppaware and no mention of 'burping'. The whole lids that don't fit game has become much more complicated in recent years with the advent of microwave plastic pots. When you bought a take away a few years ago the foil containers went in the bin, but the new plastic ones... well, it seems a bit of a waste when they still look perfectly good doesn't it? Thing is, though, the sizes and shapes aren't standardised, so if you're an habitual hoarder you end up with about 5000 of the bleeding things, none of the bases of which match any of the lids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have a whole host of takeaway ones as well from our local Chinese nd you're right there's nothing standard about them just to add to the confusion. It's also rather worrying how many we have - a takeaway addiction giveaway perhaps!

      Delete
  5. Great post Helen, and oh so very true...

    ReplyDelete