Plenty Of Containers And Not Enough Lids

A collection of containers with matching lids is columnist Paul DiSclafani’s dream come true

I just can’t take it anymore.
If I find one more piece of Tupperware that doesn’t have a matching lid, I’m going to blow my stack. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of containers and plenty of tops, but they just don’t seem to match. How is that possible?
There is nothing more frustrating than selecting the perfect size container for your leftovers, only to not be able to pair it with a matching lid. Some look like they should fit the obviously round shape, but they just don’t seal properly. Instead, it’s off just enough for you to consider flinging it across the room like a Frisbee.
It’s not like people throw away just the lids, is it? Containers sometimes get mangled or deformed if they get too close to the heat on the stove. Some lose their shape after being exposed to the gamma rays of a microwave 900 times. Others get stained beyond repair, especially in an Italian household where many things contain sauce.
But the lids? They stay in pretty good shape.

Life on Long Island includes the occasional Chinese food takeout night, which usually provides you with several types of plastic food containers. The main dishes now come in a low, rectangular white base with a transparent cover. Soup often comes in small or large round holders. When you first get them, they are snapped so tight you need a crowbar to open them. But for some reason, the covers never seem to seal enough for you to trust them inside your lunch box later in the week.
Like most of you, we have an entire cabinet dedicated to plastic food containers. It’s a corner cabinet with a Lazy Susan next to the sink. There is a healthy mixture of Tupperware, Chinese food containers, store-bought brand names like Glad or Rubber Maid, things from the dollar store with strange symbols on them, and, of course, holders acquired from other sources. Through the natural course of daily usage, it sometimes looks like a bomb went off inside that cabinet with things scattered everywhere.

Every now and then, my Aunt Jean will come over for dinner and spend some quality time organizing that cabinet, putting containers together with lids. I’ve often told her she could make big money doing just that for a living.
There is nothing like finding the matching lid for your container and getting that beautiful “snap.” Unfortunately, Glad doesn’t quite fit on Rubber Maid, allowing the contents to spill over if they get jostled. You shouldn’t have to struggle with sealing the lid, yet I’ve taken the Lord’s name in vain during the process more times than I care to admit.

Why can’t all manufacturers agree on a standard set of sizes, so containers and lids fit regardless of the brand? Do they have to be off by just a fraction? I have no problem with the round vs square vs rectangle shapes. I wish I knew why I have more lids than containers.
We have a container the size of a baking pan. Where could the cover for that one be? It wouldn’t fit anything else, so we couldn’t have given it away. Maybe it escaped with some of my mismatched socks. I’ve seen food containers in my fridge with tin foil on top and others with lids that don’t fit held together with rubber bands. Any port in a storm, I guess.
Last year, my son James bought us a set of hard plastic Rubber Maid holders with matching hard plastic lids. The lids come in just three sizes, small, medium and large. I am happy to report that every container in that set still has a matching lid.

Most likely because we’re afraid to use them.

Paul DiSclafani, a Massapequa resident, is a 2018 Press Club of Long Island award-winning columnist and an Anton Media Group contributor since 2016.

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