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Confessions of a Tupperware Virgin | Carol Sullivan | fiction | Lollipop

Confessions of a Tupperware Virgin

by Carol Sullivan
illustration by Daniel Frey

Hello, my name is Carol, I'm twenty-six, and I have been to a Tupperware party. In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would utter those words together in one sentence. I'm far from being the Empress of Hip, but is this how it goes? One day you're in college doing keg stands and tequila shots, and then, before you know it, a Tupperware party invitation shows up in the mail and you're faced with the mortality of your youth.

It was a Saturday afternoon, I had just woken up and I heard the mail drop through the slot. I sat down with my bowl of Captain Crunch and sifted through the usual amount of delinquent student loan bills, supermarket circulars, low-interest credit card offers, and came across a hand-written postcard. Since anything hand-written offers the most promise of not being a bill, I tossed the rest of the mail on the floor and read the postcard.

My sister was having a Tupperware party, and I was invited. Tupperware? Before I knew it, I was thinking of a handy, microwave-safe soup container to bring lunch to work. Oh my God, what was happening to me? I forced the thoughts of Tupperware from my head. A moment of weakness, I thought, I'm still young and fun. I'll go to the Tupperware party, but I won't have fun, and I'll be totally blasé and disinterested.

As the day of the party approached, I told my friends about my plans, masking my curiosity with a blanket of mockery and sarcasm, accented by a double espresso in my hand. I was shocked to learn I was one of the few Tupperware virgins left. "Oh yeah, the Rock and Serve is great, from freezer to microwave. And the best thing is, it doesn't stain," one of my girlfriends remarked. "I got the Modular Mates, and now my cabinets are organized like never before." It's worse than I thought, my friends have already succumbed, they'd lost their Tupperware virginity and with it, the carefree innocence of youth.

The day of the Tupperware party arrived and I went to my sister's house. She's a full-fledged adult in my book. I mean, she's married, she has a baby, a house, and to top it off, she drives a Volkswagon station wagon. There's no turning back once you own a station wagon. That's serious stuff. So her hosting a Tupperware party wasn't really a surprise, it was simply the next step in her adult evolution. I poured myself a glass of wine and waited nervously for the party to begin.

A mini-van roared into the driveway, the doorbell rang and it was clear: Joan had arrived. Armed with a smile, a big bag of Tupperware, and an air of confidence that surrounded her like Charlie perfume, Joan began to set up her demonstration more efficiently than a navy seal carrying out a mission. This was not her first time; Joan was experienced.

I played it cool, I did my best to surround myself in a cloud of indifference, but I found myself staring at the sandwich containers Joan had laid out on the table. Those would be great to bring to the beach, I thought before I could stop myself: air tight, no soggy beach sandwiches. Get a grip, I told myself. Thankfully, I hadn't said anything outloud. The sandwich containers had aroused my interest, but I forced myself to think about my tattoo -- it always helped me remember that I was a free spirit when I had my doubts.

Everyone had arrived. I was the youngest, but these women were not much different from me. I remained quiet, drank LOTS more wine, and watched as Joan launched enthusiastically into her demo of bowls, salad spinners, and cabinet storage systems. Joan moved deftly through her demonstration. She was a pro; when the group's attention strayed too far from the subject at hand, she'd quickly ask some Tupperware trivia and award prizes to the lucky person with the correct answer.

I tried to be disinterested, play it cool, but when it came down to it, I wanted that citrus peeler in a bad way. Finally, I gave into my desires, I broke my silence and shouted the answer to a vegetable storage system question, and I got my citrus peeler. With citrus peeler in hand, I relaxed a little, joined the conversations, and actually allowed myself to have fun. It wasn't a Tupperware party anymore, it was a Tupperware parté. I didn't feel any different... Had I crossed the chasm into adulthood? That wasn't so bad, I thought.

Joan wrapped up her demonstration of Tupperware gadgets for any occasion. We dined on a gourmet meal of pesto chicken, garlic and rosemary potatoes, and orange glazed carrots that were all cooked in one container in the microwave (I didn't believe it either until I saw for myself). After dinner, everyone continued socializing, Joan tallied up everyone's order, got two women to host future Tupperware parties, and vanished. She came and went, the whole thing taking less time than I'd imagined.

I lost my Tupperware virginity and I still eat Fluff, my gas tank is never full, I rarely have more than three dollars cash on me at any given time, I sleep until noon on weekends, and The Real World is about as close to a documentary as I get. Nothing changed. I thought admitting to myself that I'd had fun at a Tupperware party was saying goodbye to my youth.

Okay, here's my Jerry Springer Thought of the Day: As you get older, things change, you realize you don't have to stay out until 3 a.m. to have fun, it's okay to stay in on a Friday night and rent movies, and it's okay to have fun at something like a Tupperware party. Being an adult is not about houses, husbands and station wagons. Being an adult is being comfortable with the person you've become.

Blah, blah, blah, blah -- enough of the warm and fuzzy. Have fun, and remember, anything can be a party, but making it a parté is all about attitude, and adult or not, I still have that!


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