Containing myself

Posted in Mom Stuff
by Jennifer

I try to fight the cliches, but they seem to spring to life around me. Some of my best friends are soccer (or: insert sport here) moms, for example. I have been one myself. Now that I have five children, each in several sports or other activities each, and I am running in every direction all the time, I’m not sure if I qualify.

Be that as it may, I had the opportunity this week to indulge in yet another suburban cliche  – the Tupperware party.

My friend Jayne, who used to sell Tupperware, has a party each May to celebrate the company’s anniversary. She is wise enough to know the company often offers extra perks and deals to mark their anniversary.

Now Jayne owns just about every piece of Tupperware ever made, so she certainly doesn’t need more. But inevitably, her many friends and neighbors can always use a few more pieces, and of course the company makes new stuff all the time and tries to make us believe that we really do need it.

This year, Tupperware salesman Doug Palenica showed us these adorable cupcake holders — in pink or blue — shaped like an actual cupcake (with frosting). They open sideways, so you can plop your cupcake inside and take it in your lunch — get this — without smudging the frosting!

I have to admit, they are darned cute, and at $7 for two (that’s a sale price), I seriously considered adding them to my own collection. Never mind that my children don’t even eat cupcakes. (I know, they’re strange that way. I often wonder if they were all switched at birth, because I myself devour anything sweet.) Jayne even had the idea of using them for a gift card holder — now how cute would that be for an end-of-year teacher’s gift?

My own interest in Tupperware isn’t so much in its cuteness, but in this innate desire to organize everything. I crave organization, possibly because my life is so disorganized!

I read once that mothers create order from chaos. I like that image. I think it explains 95% of what I do each day, whether it’s related to home or work. My notes and ideas for my freelance writing can be pretty chaotic, but then I organize them and write the article so it’s all neat and tidy. My photos and memorabilia are scattered hither and yon, until I scrapbook them.

When I have the chance, I linger in those container stores, or in the modular bin section of Target, and fantasize about how cool it would be to have a tidy little bin for each segment of my life. I dream about a mud room compartment for each of my children, where they would hang up their jackets and book bags, stash their shoes on the shelf beneath, and stow their sports gear inside the hinged bench.

Ahhhhh. Now doesn’t that feel good?

As if! I know, it’s just a dream. I would probably spend the same amount of time picking up after them. At least everything would have a designated place, and possibly for five minutes my house would appear to be the calm oasis a home should be.

I didn’t buy any Tupperware that day. The need for a positive figure in my checkbook balance overruled my urges to organize. But the iconic Tupperware party gave me a chance to mingle with friends, renew my sense of purpose and reinvigorate my hope to gain control of my life.

Or, at least, my kitchen.

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