Maybe I could have been a 1950’s housewife. I’m happy in the kitchen. I don’t even mind doing laundry, and conquering a stubborn stain makes me feel positively triumphant. I find a certain amount of joy in a well organized, drawer, cupboard or closet. I enjoy the entire art of home keeping, so I can sort of see the appeal of being a June Cleaver. Of course, if I happened to get a little stir crazy in my June Cleaver world, and wanted to earn some “mad money” I’d put on a crisp dress, a set of pearls, and become a Tupperware Lady. I could supplement the household income, while still maintaining my family obligations and responsibilities around the house.
During the 1950’s and 60’s a brisk business was being done at home parties. The Tupperware Ladies recruited their friends and neighbors to be party hostesses. The parties also gave women an opportunity to socialize. Unlike the variety of home sales parties today, a Tupperware “girls night” took place in the afternoon of course, while the man of the house was at work and the children were in school. Tupperware Ladies were able to enter the business world before the E.R.A. The products were modern, colorful, convenient and practical. The designs evolved to match the change in home decorating trends. Pastels gave way to earth tones. It was all super nifty, including the marketing tagline: The Burping Seal!”
So how did Tupperware and its empowerment of women, evolve into something that brings me down, and makes me feel more like Roseanne Conner than June Cleaver? It’s true. I have a dirty little secret, and I am comin’ clean about it, because I suspect I’m not alone. I’m referring to that shameful, miserable home-keeping failure: The Tupperware cupboard or drawer. C’mon, fess up, do you have one?
Mine contains my Tupperware from the early 90’s in sickly shades of Wedgewood blue and mauve. It also contains the modern and more disposable incarnations of plastic food storage ware including Rubbermaid, Gladware and Ziploc. No brand loyalty, here. It is all a source of constant aggravation, and often gets the better of me. It is the weaselly Eddie Haskell in my kitchen.
During the after dinner cleanup, I have sometimes found just the right-sized container, filled it will gloppy leftovers, and stood back, full of pride at my accurate spatial analysis, only to discover the corresponding lid no longer fits. Neither does any lid in the cupboard, for that matter. So much for the old adage “a lid for every pot.” Then, I have a “no more wire hangers” meltdown moment, and the sorting and purging occurs immediately. Countless time I’ve sorted it: paired tops with bottoms, and tossed all strays. I’ve attempted various storage bins and racks, organizational methods and strategies. These last on average, about three weeks. It can’t be tamed.
The plastic storage ware is unruly & as it makes it way around my kitchen. The bottom rack of the dishwasher is too hot for it, so I let it have the top bunk. It takes more than its fair share of space, and doesn’t leave room for the glasses and coffee mugs. It still won’t behave. It gets a touch-me-not attitude and jumps out of the rack at the slightest bump. It occasionally flips over when I’m not looking. When my dishwasher finishes, I discover it has somehow managed to elude the heated drying cycle. It demands to be hand dried. How is all this cheap plastic as high maintenance as fine crystal?
Once the dishwasher is emptied and the hand drying is complete, the real fun begins: Tupperware Jenga. Shoving it all precariously back into the cupboard and quickly getting the door shut before it all comes tumbling back out. Don’t we all play the game? We know picking up the mess will become the problem of the next unlucky family member who happens to open that door. As hard as I have tried, my Tupperware cupboard has never looked like this:
I officially surrender. I’ve given up the fight. Clearly, I’m no June Cleaver, and it isn’t possible to go back to the 1950’s, so I’ve given up on the fantasy, too.
Instead, I’m heading to 1947 with these little gems:
They are classic, cheery and the color coding possibilities are perfect for an organizational freak. They don’t pretend to be dishwasher safe. They are well-behaved, and remain stacked and orderly in the cupboard and look like little jewels in the fridge.
They make it easy to put a lid on it. The glass lids don’t exactly provide an airtight seal, but I don’t mind.
I mean, really, who needs one more thing around the house that burps?