Opinion: Where, oh where, is the missing Tupperware?


Being stuck at home due to COVID-19 creates opportunities to tackle household issues you wouldn’t normally have time for. I spent some time last weekend arranging my shelved books in alphabetical order. The Dewey Decimal System was no longer working for me (if you’re under 50, please Google it).

Mary Ellen had her own project. The annoyance could be ignored no longer: Most of our Tupperware lids didn’t fit or were missing.

I knew there was a problem. Almost every leftover in our refrigerator is in a pastel-colored plastic container with a piece of Reynolds Wrap over it. I think this is the reason my mouth waters whenever I see aluminum foil.

The lid dilemma is my fault. I always put the Tupperware tops in the bottom dishwasher rack, and an hour later the results look like a Salvador Dali clock. Years ago, a lady in Fort Wayne had potato chips that looked like famous people. One of our Tupperware lids looks like Mick Jagger.

Tupperware’s inventor made the same mistake the Heinz people once made. Not to mention the Bic Pen people. And many toothpaste companies. Tops should always be attached. I’m glad the people at American Standard attach the lid to the seat, or men like me who are always losing things would spend the first half of the day looking for the TV remote, then divide up the next 12 hours between the cellphone and toilet topper.

“Mary Ellen, have you seen the lid to the toilet seat?”

“Did you misplace it again? When was the last time you used it?”

“This morning, after I brushed my teeth.”

“Well, it must be there. Did you put it down somewhere? Never mind. You never put it down.”

Back to my wife’s project of trying to match container parts.

“Why are you even bothering, Mary Ellen? Just throw out the misfits. We’ll buy new Tupperware.”

“Dick, what an odd position to take for a man whose bottom dresser drawer is storing 11 solo socks without a mate.”

(“Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.”  –Mark Twain)

 “Mary Ellen, what’s that hint of orange in all these containers?”

“That’s just marinara sauce stains that won’t come out.”

“Well, if all those containers are stained and ugly, you really should throw them out. What good are they?”

“Boy, that sock analogy still hasn’t sunk in, has it?”

It reached the point where I couldn’t stand it anymore. The shuffling and rattling were disturbing my Sunday nap, so I marched into the kitchen.

“Mary Ellen,” I implored, “can’t you stop this silliness for an hour and do something else?”

She told me to put a lid on it.


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