Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Tupperware Lady

Disposable gladware is another thing that gets hidden in the basement when the folks visit, alongside the brand-name foods.

GladWare's not an affront to their environmental consciousness (they don't have any), as it is among some of my friends. As usual, they'd be offended by the extravagant profligacy, but more than that, I was raised in a Tupperware house. It was -- and is -- the Gold Standard for preserving leftover food -- or serving Watergate Salad at a church picnic (the ubiquitous green/pistachio/jell-O "salad" served throughout the South. Though my friend Lori tells me it goes by Cool Cool Salad" in Western Kentucky. In both regions, it is not uncommon to find marshmellows and crushed pineapples combined and referred to as "salad."

(I had some of it on Mother's Day, and to be honest, it was fabulous. Tastes like...Childhood.)

This was all brought up this morning when I read that friend MissKristina was going to a Tupperware shower for her sister.

I didn't know they still existed, and was immediately stricken by jealousy.

And said as much.

Then I began to worry about Tupperware. What has become of its market share in the GladWare era? Will it survive?

Kristina advocated the GladWare for the exact same reason I use it: if you leave food in the fridge too long, the GladWare can just be thrown away guilt-free. You don't even have to open it, to confirm what you definitely already know. You could -- theoretically -- throw away Tupperware, in some dire, penicillin-ish situation, but if you did, somewhere, a Mom would die.

I can still remember the commercial, "The Tupperware Lady has the freshes ideas, for locking in [seal burps] Fresh. Ness."

Yeah. We had to learn how to "burp" the Tupperware -- a culinary rite of passage in the South.

And no one would EVER forget to apply masking tape with one's family name on the bottom of anyone's Tupperware receptacle if it had to be abandoned for some reason at say, a wake, or the home of a sick relative. Maybe white trash would drop off their offerings in Blue Bonnet butter bowls, but WE were better than that. We were raised right -- TRYING not to look down on the Rubbermaid households of our community (maybe they just didn't know any better?) But you know: Kids can be cruel.

And that masking tape was INVIOLABLE -- even families caught in the grip of cancer, death, or unimaginable grief thoroughly comprehended that they had a limited window to wash that Tupperware and return it to its rightful owner -- even if it meant dumping the contents into a Blue Bonnet butter bowl, for later, quiet, contemplative consumption..

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Today is a designated Bitter Aunt Day.

Take the Kid to the office; keep her fed; keep her entertained; Mom picks her up sometime tonight and expects to find her alive and healthy.

It's a good system.

She got a little bored at the office when her Nintendo died and she didn't have the right power cord to charge it. Then we found her a website where she could take clothes on and off a Barbie (pretty SURE it was a kids' site) and she was happy. As happy as any kid can be watching grown-ups performing "editing" and "accounting."

The plan was to pick up Josie's for lunch and dinner as a Treat -- but she actually begged to cook instead. And what she begged FOR was broccoli. Her favorite since she was about 3. Who could say No.

She's turning into a pretty good sous chef.

My childcare skills probably need a little work.

For dessert, I let her have a combo of blueberry pie, cherry pie, and chocolate ice cream. I asked her later why she asked for that since she never cares about Sweets at all. She said "because I knew you wouldn't say No." Was that a boundaries test? Did I fail it? The Kid has no food issues that I can see, and I'd like to keep it that way, so whatever she wants, of course I say Yes.

Then I got in trouble for letting her watch a Movie with too much profanity. I walked in the room just in time to hear one of the characters light another up with a series of F Words and variations. I asked "has this been going on the whole time I've been outta the room?" She said disapprovingly, "it IS kind of language-y." I told her it was only a PG. She said, "yeah maybe it was, SEVENTY years ago. The first time you saw it." Yeah. Like I pre-date the MPAA ratings board.

Now we're playing the Quiet Game.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Because. I. Said. So.

Sometimes, I think people I work with just want to see how far they can push before I have an aneurysm and drop dead on the spot -- that it would be entertaining for them to watch my head explode.

At my office, for example, the toilet seat is always up. You can put post-it notes on it. You could probably nail it shut. You will still walk in the next day and find it Up.

At my office, you will always find rolls of toilet paper at the front desk. Is it a gender thing? Do boys have a thing against Kleenex? Why would anyone drag rolls of toilet paper from room to room to blow their nose on (all the while refusing to admit they have allergies)? It's disgusting.

I work in a Rainman kind of office.

Every answer is a monosyllable. And not very many of those. It's pretty much limited to "what?" and "why?" If it's a full sentence, it usually begins with, "what you need to do is..."

All I really want to hear when I ask if something's been done is "ma'am, yes Ma'am."

For two weeks, I haven't had email. More accurately, I have had HALF of my email. Half comes in and goes out. The other half doesn't. I never know which half, until someone calls up, very angry, and wants to know why I didn't respond to their urgent need for my attention. At which point, the new super-deluxe 3G Blackberry Bold promptly drops their call.

This is the kind of thing I delegate. One of my best qualities is that I know my limitations, and one of those limitations is that I am tech-illiterate.

So here's the explanation I overheard being relayed to the hardware/ISP people on the phone yesterday: "No, I'M not having any problems. She SAYS she's not getting some of her email..." And implicit in the entire discussion and tone I overheard was the word, "allllllegedly...." as if I was somehow hallucinating the 40 people who painstakingly explained the "mailer-daemon" notices they were getting back, just to be difficult. The angry callers would have EMAILED the mailer-daemons to me for forwarding to the IT guys.... but, well, you see the flaw in that plan. (Apparently, a flaw that's only obvious to me.)

Today I asked about the status of a print order that should have gone out Friday. An order that HAS to go in the mail MONDAY. That's going to be difficult when the Printer hasn't even seen the file yet. They're not telepathic. The monosyllabic answers to that question, in order were, "what?" and "why?" I guess, why did I want to know?

I'm not known for running a very tight ship. I don't care when people come in, and I don't care when they leave. There's a finite amount of work to get done in any given week and as long as it gets done, I'm pretty easy to please.

And the answer to the word "why?" is BECAUSE I SAID SO. It's not a debate.