Shut the front door!” With an upcoming new child on the way, I’m working very hard on excusing my French, which, after years in coal mining and construction, can be quite unexpectedly explosive and shocking, even to me. I am trying with all my might to get the Tupperware, of all kinds of brands, to please stop sliding out of the darn cabinet. It’s not working. I throw another piece back in, try to close the door, and here it comes again, a veritable mystery of slope stability. How on earth can a pile of plastic, so similar in size, shape and engineering fall so quickly and so fast? A study needs to be performed, but in the dearth of will power and funding to launch a coefficient of stability research project, I form another and deeper question. How on earth did we accumulate so much of this stuff? I’ve never bought it. Not ever. I can’t recall one single time that I walked into a store and thought, “You know what I need? TUPPERWARE!!”  Nope, it’s just always been in my closets and cabinets, just lurking, ready to jump out on me with no matching lid just as I am trying to be more diligent on being green and skip the Ziplocs in order to save something that I will likely never eat. Another thing, what is it with the lids??? Where do they go? With the sock monster? I don’t put the Tupperware in the dryer, so where do the lids go?

While sitting on the kitchen floor, swearing under my breath in determination to find a lid that matches a container that is perfect to hold my chicken meatballs that I have sworn to eat, most likely late at night while watching reruns of “No Reservations” I begin to think about how awesome it is that I have this much of the iconic reusable containers. This pile of plastic doesn’t represent excess. No! It represents countless cookouts, family get-togethers, birthday parties, Sunday dinners, gravy and biscuits, leftover barbecue and the love of family and friends. For you see, each piece of this pile of plastic originated in someone else’s house, picnic or church barbecue. My mother, your mother, someone’s mother thought enough of her family and guest to ply them with leftover wonderful goodness, which may or may not cause some nausea late at night – ever ate leftover deviled eggs that have been sitting at a church picnic for hours? In the sun? In August? Well, I have. There is little doubt that I will again. You pay for it, but, they are sooooo good.

So, I realize, that this pile of non-recyclable sealable containers with no discernible lids in sight is the most recyclable things in the world. Not only do they represent a culture of kindness and sharing here in the South, they are the greatest gift one can give – a piece of love. Sealed in a container, with the best of intentions.  I am at once thankful for my pile of plastic containers, and ashamed. As a Southern cook, I have no business having this much Tupperware. I need to give some away. Filled with love. I’m out, Ya’ll. Come see me sometime, and I’ll send you home with a container full of leftover fried chicken. Most likely sealed with plastic wrap, as I won’t be able to find any lids.

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