When you are stuck at home due to COVID, it creates opportunities to deal with household issues you wouldn’t normally have time to mess with. I spent a fair amount of time last weekend putting my books on my shelves in alphabetical order. The Dewey Decimal System was no longer working for me (Are you under 50? Please google it.)
Mary Ellen had her own project. She took her usual measured approach, recognizing that one solution does not fit all. There was some trial and error in her method, but she knew that if she resolved the issue, everything would be a snap. The annoyance could be ignored no longer: Most of our Tupperware had lids that didn’t fit or were missing.
I had also recognized there was a problem. You see, almost every leftover in our refrigerator is in a nifty little pastel-colored plastic container with a piece of Reynolds Wrap over it. I think this is one of the reasons my mouth waters whenever I see aluminum foil.
This lid dilemma is mostly my fault. I always put the Tupperware tops on the bottom shelf of the dishwasher, and an hour later the result looks something like a Salvador Dali clock. Years ago, there was a lady in Fort Wayne who had potato chips that looked like famous people. I have a Tupperware lid that looks like Mick Jagger.
Whoever invented Tupperware made the same mistake that the Heinz people once made. Not to mention the Bic Pen people. And many toothpaste companies. Tops should always be attached. I’m glad the people at American Standard attach the lid to the seat. It’s a good thing, or men like me who are always losing things would spend the first half of the day looking for the TV remote, then divide up the next 12 hours between the cell phone and toilet topper.
“Mary Ellen, have you seen the lid to the toilet seat?”
“Did you misplace it again? When was the last time you used it?”
“This morning, moments after I brushed my teeth.”
“Well, it must be there. Did you put it down somewhere? Come to think of it, you never put it down.”
But getting back to my wife’s little project in the kitchen, of trying to match container parts. Personally, I thought the whole thing was a waste of time. “Why are you even bothering, Mary Ellen? Just throw out the misfits. We’ll buy new Tupperware.”
“Well, Dick, that is an odd position to take for a man whose bottom dresser drawer is storing 11 solo socks that don’t have a mate.”
(Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example. –Mark Twain)
“Mary Ellen, what’s that hint of orange on all these containers?”
“That’s just marinara sauce stains that won’t come out.”
“Well, if all those containers are stained and ugly, you really should throw them out. What good are they?”
“Boy, that sock analogy still hasn’t sunk in, has it?”
It reached the point where I couldn’t stand it anymore. The shuffling and rattling were disturbing my Sunday nap so I marched into the kitchen. “Mary Ellen,” I implored, “can’t you stop this silliness for an hour and do something else?”
She told me to put a lid on it.

Dick Wolfsie appears weekdays on television sharing his humor, stories and video essays. His column appears weekly in The Paper of Montgomery County. E-mail Dick at Wolfsie@ aol.com.