Wastelands of Suburbia

A place where the cast-off ephemera of the last four generations comes to rest, and is discussed fondly....Like junk, or the injection-molded minutiae of history? Welcome home...Junkyards, yard sales, roadside oddities, thrift stores and more-your memories are deep inside the box, so keep shaking.

Monday, July 24, 2006

On Tupperware and the Age of Innocence...


There is something about Tupperware that makes me very nostalgic-I can't entirely put my finger on it, but most likely it is due to it being in my life in one capacity or another since first consciousness.

My mom hosted a Tupperware party when we were kids-it was a big deal to hang out with the adults, even if it was just the ladies. My brother and I cleaned up at the "icebreaker" games-being the only males (albeit small ones), we were able to play "I never" (say something you've never done and everyone else loses a point, or at some parties, has to drink), with aplomb. Little did we know the ladies could have easily kicked out butts in equal fashion.

I remember Mom getting FREE STUFF just for hosting the party-some small containers, a burnt-orange marinader for the fridge (the hot Seventies color), and a green and white watering can, that featured a small nozzle and hose to reach those hard-to-get hanging plants in the corners of our house. It was due partly to this, I guess, that Tupperware became as much a part of my young life as the Sears Catalogue.

As I grew, I always, for some reason, found myself noting the Tupperware in other people's houses. Apple Green Servaliers, Dark Brown or Orange Canisters stacked neatly or side-by-side in ascending order of size, Jadeite lettuce keepers, colanders, and bread boxes, Yellow Snack Cups. A small replica of a blue mixing bowl on a ball chain is where my dime was kept to call home in an emergency (remember the dime phone call? and payphones?) Later I would use a Tupperware organizer to keep my model car paints, glues and tools in one place. Tupperware was on the canoe and camping trips (waterproof!!), road trips, parties, and graduation ceremonies, keeping the edible memories of youth just a little longer than Saran Wrap ever could.

Being a container junkie anyway (cases, cans, boxes, you name it), I love Tupperware as an adult as well. I scour the thrift stores for vintage pieces, grabbing them to start my own collection. I have most of what Mom did now, plus a bunch of those I thought were neat as a kid but were not in our household. I use the small snack cups to organize my lunch. I spend Sundays cooking for the week and filling Servaliers with one-pot dishes. I have the one-pound bacon keeper cause I hate that wrapping bacon comes in so much. I probably have too many-anyone with cool stuff to trade is welcome to make me an offer on my spares...

Is this some sick obsession I have? or is it that I just equate Tupperware to growing up the way some do a food item, a song, a vacation, or their home town? Maybe it's just me, but at least my lettuce is fresh.

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