The Case of the Missing Tupperware
PROBLEM: Every other day I find I am missing a couple of my plastic dabbas. But sometimes, one of them sneaks back onto the kitchen rack, while others go missing. I have a feeling my cook has something to do with it — not that she’s stealing, but that she doesn’t discriminate between saved takeaway containers and Tupperware, and packs leftovers in whatever she finds first.
I’ve confronted her several times, making sure it doesn’t look like an accusation of theft. But nothing changes. How do I keep my Tupperware around?
MM: Dear Plastic Lover, I’m inclined to believe your maid is more concerned about your health than you might think. Perhaps she got wind of recent reports that found toxic chemicals in your precious dabbas and has taken it upon herself to rid your kitchen of the stuff, one container at a time.
Getting her to spill the beans would be futile. She’s either palming them off to a less-beloved family or destroying the evidence completely. I suggest you do the same to spare her the effort. Maybe consider a raise for her being so thoughtful.
KB: Dear Dabba Queen, Have you heard of a permanent marker? Get one. Then write really appetizing descriptions on the sides of all your containers (e.g., Pig testicle stew, Husband’s tissue/blood samples, Granny’s constipation meds). Watch how quickly they become yours and yours alone, forever.
LG: Invest! Buy stock in Storewell, Tupperware, Lock & Lock, Servewell, Disha, Princeware, Tuffstuff, Foodietrue, Brightware, Khanekeep or Topstore*. Or in all of them. That way, as you keep buying dabbas to replace the ones your cook removes, you’ll at least get a little money back. Which you can use to buy more dabbas.
Basically, that’s your life now, until you go bankrupt, sitting amid a heap of lidless boxes. (Because even when your cook isn’t taking your boxes, there are still NEVER ANY LIDS.)
*May have made some of these up. Whatever, I’m not an investment advisor.
SB: Dear Harassed Hoarder, dabbas by nature are meant to be a short-term solution. If you love something, let it go; if it returns, it’s yours to keep… unless you tend to keep everything.
Do this quick check: Do you have assorted takeaway chopsticks, cutlery, salt and pepper packets, sauces and napkins stuffed in your kitchen drawers? If the answer to any two of these is yes, you NEED to start throwing things away. Let your maid help you lighten the load and maybe even suggest she takes what she wants from that drawer.
SH: This reminds me of the beautiful steelware we used to send goodies to our neighbours in. While mum’s food always got compliments, we never got our dabbas back. And our kitchen rack still has those unfamiliar vessels we don’t know what to do with. Completely agree with SB, dabbas have a life of their own!
If you want to reverse this law of nature and cling on to your Tupperware, it’s time you started packing your own lunch — unless your cook also washes your utensils, in which case I suggest you drop everything else and attain nirvana.
First World Problems is a funny advice column wherein The Swaddle Team weighs in on their own and others’ ‘problems.’ Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @The_Swaddle with a #firstworldproblems hashtag if you’ve broken a nail, felt a little blue, yellow or green lately, or had a strange encounter of the any-numbered kind. We’ll help you sort it out.