There are those rare moments when the secrets of the universe reveal themselves to us, and we are shown our purpose here on this spec of dust hurtling through the blackness of space. And if we are truly lucky, we manage to grasp that truth and translate it into words that can illuminate the human experience.
But most days in the age of COVID, we are left to organize the Tupperware cupboard.
I’m quite certain they are multiplying there in the dark, crowding out the other bowls and baking dishes attempting to peacefully coexist. Sometimes when you throw open a cabinet door they tumble out in a tupper-avalanche, tubs and lids slapping you in the face as they spill onto the countertop while you try in vain to catch them. Incidents which only serve to reinforce my belief that David Venable is the Devil.
Initially, I attempted to fight this malignancy at its root – leftovers. Eliminate them and you eliminate their evil spawn. That plan was quickly abandoned, however, when my efforts to scale back on the standard overindulgent holiday meals like Thanksgiving and Easter were met with chants of “Lock him up.” And while we always try to send some containers home with the kids after our get-togethers, my daughter-in-law is one of those types who insists on returning them, freshly washed, on her next visit. This despite being informed that every time she does, she forfeits a portion of her inheritance.
I realize some kitchenware engineer dedicated her/his life to designing these things so they fit precisely into one another as a way of conserving precious cabinet space. So I start out with good intentions, playing the puzzle game and wedging the smaller ones into the bigger ones, at least for the first week or so after “straightening up day.” Yet it’s only a matter of time before all is chaos. I’ve been accused of doing this as a ploy to get out of unloading the dishwasher, though in truth I’m not that clever. No, this is simply how I roll. I am organizationally bankrupt, as a visit to my garage will attest. It’s genetics – as a hunter-gatherer it’s my job to acquire it, not keep it neat.
And these are not your grandma’s food storage bins. This stuff is made of military-grade polymers that could double as body armor, with lids that lock down with a commanding “snap” to let you know the contents are sealed tighter than the vault at Fort Knox. Those lids are color coded in what would seem to be an effort to make them idiot-proof, although there is no correlating hue on the bases, leaving me to wonder who, then, is the idiot?
Which brings us to the outliers, miscellaneous pieces of dubious quality most likely brought home from the supermarket, upcycled after their original contents were cleaned out (again, genetics – as a Scotsman, I am prone to tighwadishness). Now all bets are off. Lids disappear in the dishwasher as routinely as socks in the dryer, so, after sorting through a rogue’s gallery of brightly-colored covers, you will invariably wind up forcing an unidentified top onto a non-matching bottom. In terms of kitchen disasters, this carries roughly the same consequences as using paper towels in place of napkins.
I’m already on the shitlist for utilizing the wrong containers for things like spaghetti and chili. It turns out those types of food go in the glass bowls, otherwise they leave the plastic tinged slightly orange. It is an ignominious taint that even the most spirited of scrubbings cannot expunge. And which will elicit the ‘this is why I can’t have nice things’ sigh of profound disappointment from my wife every time she pulls one from the cabinet while holding it aloft momentarily to ensure that I am properly shamed.
In my defense, this was not part of the original deal. I was contracted to open jars, kill bugs and reach things on the high shelf. Food storage is above my pay grade.