Confessions of a Container Addict

"Convince me that you have a container there, and I am prepared to expect wonders." - Me, with all apologies to Henry David Thoreau.

I do not think I have mentioned this about myself yet, but I am a container enthusiast. You could use the word addict, but that might be taking it a bit too far. I love containers. I covet them. I adore them. I collect them. It drives my husband crazy.

What drives him most crazy is not simply the sheer number of them (oh, for there are many!) but the fact that the lids always get separated from the containers. I ask him to find the lid FIRST before putting anything in a container, but he doesn't always listen; then we are scampering about for lids, a search made more urgent by the fact that we're sitting there looking at a lidless but already-dirtied container!

He is of the old school: Tupperware only. And he thinks it's funny to switch the lids on me: a green lid on an orange container promotes personality development, he says. He pretends to act like this is all founded on psychological research. I think he's making it up! Personality development or no, NORMAL people do not swap out the lids.

It was a rainy Sunday in central Pennsylvania, and I used the day to catch up on much-needed tasks around the house. I did laundry. I made apple pancakes. I washed dishes and wiped down the kitchen. I changed the cat litter. I reviewed the sales brochures from the Sunday paper, clipped and organized the coupons, made a grocery list. I finished reading a good book.

In the afternoon while we watched movies on TV (aren't matinees of westerns and sci-fi movies just the best?), I cleaned up three of my cameras: the SX 120 IS, the SX 40 HS, the SX 50 HS, all Canon PowerShots. I cleaned out my camera bag. I sewed where it needed mending. We ate again; I did more dishes, wiped the kitchen down again.

And finally we were down to the last 15 minutes or so before our 8 pm shows came on. And I decided that my very last useful task of the day would be to (make my husband happy) spend it sorting the containers that were sitting about in the kitchen, and putting the lids with the containers they top. I quickly achieved the orderly scene you see above. Then I put them neatly back where they belong. (Please note that this photo represents only a small percentage of the entire collection!)

There is always a favorite container, of course. And it is often the newest one on the block. I am particularly fond of containers by Sistema, Snapware, and Lock & Lock, for their firm seals and attractive and modern good looks. In addition to Tupperware and Rubbermaid, of course, which are the gold standard.

I love visiting the Grange Fair with a dear friend in August of each year. A secret that only SHE knows is how I adore visiting the Tupperware lady each time, and sneaking home a new bagful of classic containers. I have been known to SQUEE over tiny adorable containers the same way that some people do over newborn puppies and kittens. Yes, I've got it that bad. (You've saddled up this horse, girl; now you've got to RIDE it.)

Right now, my particular favorite is that little square pink one you see sitting a bit cattywampus on the bottom row, third from right. The container is actually clear with pink accents and a pink rubber seal, to make it spill-proof. (Not every container with a lid can claim that.) Just looking at this container makes me happy. It is even better to touch it. Put the lid on; then the satisfying snap-snap-snap-snap of the side tabs to close it. Ahh! Happiness!

In August of 1986, I got to visit Container World in Kentucky. It was their flagship store, founded in 1983, the first of its kind; a store that sells nothing but containers of all colors, kinds, and sizes. I still DREAM about that. :-) However, here was the rub: I could only buy as many containers as I could fit in my carry-on luggage, for my return trip was to be via bus. Argh!

Why do containers make me so happy? It's not just because they are pretty. It's also because they give me hope. I am a collector of all kinds of stuff, and so my life tends a bit toward the chaos of THINGS. Buying containers is an exercise in hope: the hope that in the end, all THINGS may become organized, and a river will run through it. :-)

I will tell you a secret about all of the food pictures I've posted here: I don't always eat it all in one sitting. In fact, often, the leftovers go into tiny containers which I carry with me in my purse! I can't stand the containers restaurants give you; I don't want to waste food, their containers don't really close securely, and I don't want to use takeout containers made of styrofoam that will end up in a landfill. So I bring my own.

As I was saying, containers give me hope that the world can be sorted, managed, organized, and made sense of. This was - for me at least - a fun little 15-minute Sunday night task. (Last week's Sunday night "final task" was organizing the larder, placing like items together, making sure all labels were facing front, and making a shopping list. Do I know how to party, or WHAT!???)

Lids are now with their correct containers; and the containers are back where they belong. See, now the world is just a teenie bit more orderly! It is my custom to include a soundtrack song with each Blip posting. My containers will help me organize all of what I've got, but it sounds like this girl might even have more "stuff" than I do. Here is Tracy Chapman, with one of my all-time favorite songs: Mountains O' Things.

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