Not Your Typical Tupperware Lady

Back in the early 80's my girlfriend and I attended our first Tupperware party. We were both newly married and all jazzed to get our kitchen pantries filled with that beautiful plastic. But it was pricey and neither of us had a lot of cash to splurge. So what, in our infinite wisdom did we decide to do?

We both became Tupperware Ladies.

What a devious plan we had hatched! All we had to do was sell a bit, not even hold one Party and we could buy all the crap product we wanted at discount prices. Whoo Hoo! Bring on that catalog; I'll take one of each, please.

But what we weren't prepared for was the mandatory Sales Meetings. Each week we'd leave our hubbies to hang out together while she and I obediently drove to the local Tupperware Central Office way out in the boonies.

The first time we attended, we were unsure we had found the right place. It was already dark as we pulled into the deserted industrial complex parking lot. Heaving open a massive door to the cavernous warehouse, we peeked inside. The crowd of women "oohing" and "ahhing" over plastic containers of all shapes and sizes laid out at the Sign-In table told us yes, we had indeed, arrived.

Badges pinned to our chests, we were ushered into the Main Hall where rows of wooden chairs were set up facing a stage. Up there under the spotlights, display tables loaded with merchandise were covertly draped with white cloths. Eager disciples in the front row whispered guesses at what could possibly be underneath.

Right on schedule, the Head Tupperware lady burst onstage while music boomed from the cassette player nearby. Flanked by her sales minions, she swiftly launched into her motivational pitches as new and exciting forms of storage containers were dramatically unveiled to the cheering crowd.


My friend and I, safely hiding in the back row of the spectacle, just turned and stared at each other open-mouthed, wondering what the hell we had gotten ourselves into.

Then came the Awards part of the show. As each lady's sales totals were announced, they proudly strode up to the stage (to the applause of the audience, natch) to accept achievement pins which they promptly tacked onto their name badge ribbons. I dare say, some of these women had their entire chest filled with those pins.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love Tupperware. And I admired some of those women for their obvious sales skills and pride in their work. But as the weeks wore on, my friend and I became the "bad girls" of the group. We stubbornly sat in the back row at each meeting, snickering at the outlandish exhibition, refusing to get caught up in the cult-like atmosphere.

We were there for swag, baby. Nothing else. On the drive home, we'd laugh at the seriousness of the really gung-ho reps, pushing us to sell everything to everyone we had ever met; heck we should have been pulling strangers off the street to convince them there storage container problems would soon be a thing of the past!

I am sure they were thrilled to see the last of us a few months later.

After we finished loading up our kitchen pantries with Tupperware, that is.

A Tupperware-filled pantry

15 People would rather be commenting:

Heather said...

I love how you tell a story! It felt like a cult, didn't it!? I felt that same way at my first CTMH meeting! I just about cried on the way home. Luckily these meetings were not mandatory and I am not monitored by a soul. Wheew!

Sofia said...

LOL Love your stories. You tell them so well.

I could never see myself having little parties at my house, trying to sell stuff. When I was a teenager we used to have an Avon lady come to our house. It was akward because we always felt obligated to buy something.

Jill said...

I actually *prefer* to sell to the total stranger on the street...

toners said...

LOL!! I think I have a couple of family members that did that very thing :)

Unknown said...

Hmmm ... I don't know if "new and exciting" and "storage containers" should really be in the same sentence.

Heather said...

Been there done that...Those meetings are something, aren't they? LOL But I LOVE my Tupperware! :D

Janet said...

Well, after reading your tale of horror, I can only say that it's a very good thing I stayed in college and didn't get sucked into that Tupperware machine. Although I sure love those stacking containers...which reminds me of a story... :-) Janet

Rachel said...

I found your blog at Absolutely Bananas... and I am glad that I did. I sort of felt sorry for those proud saleswomen now. I hope that they didn't think the concept of plastic storage containers were so unique as to demand decades of women clammoring for them without there being cheaper, grocery store-available, knock offs. BTW-- so impressed by your organization! Is that your cupboard?/ You are NEVER allowed in my kitchen, although I know we just met :)

Maureen said...

Heather and Sofia: Thank you!

Jill: Perhaps with chocolates (you know what I'm talkin' about), but Tupperware???

Toners: Yeah, don't we all...
"Oh No! Aunt "So&So" is selling Tupperware! Run! Run for your lives!!!!"

DD: Exactly. Which made it even more scary to see someone get THAT excited...

Heather: I do too; which is why I went thru that hell to get stocked up.

JP: "Stay in college" always a good choice. Can't wait to hear YOUR story too!

Aw, thank you Likeastar, and welcome! And, yes, that is indeed just part of one shelf in my pantry. My OCD drives the rest of the family nuts.... "That doesn't go THERE!" I am always saying. They have now given up stocking it, it's my territory.

Marlee said...

LMAO!!! :))

Curly Glamour Girlie said...

My husband will pay you handsomely to make our pantry look like that. I've often been told to "do something with that damn tupperware" Of course, we're poor, so we have mismatched Chinese and restaurant take-out tupperware and Ziplock permutations of it.

I once helped throw a "Body Shop" party - which was actually fun. I usually avoid those candle parties like the plague though.

Holly said...

Hilarious, my mum used to hold Tupperware parties until my dad got so pissed off with the amount of plastic we had around the house. She used to love all the free/cheap stuff she could get!!

Bananas said...

you naughty, naughty girls. for the record, I'd have been there in the back snickering with you.

Irene said...

I hate the fact that back then a Tupperware party was the highlight of my life. I am so glad I have moved on from there, thank goodness I was saved from suburbia and came out in one piece!

Cupcake Blonde said...

Oh my, my mom would get sucked into all these cults...Tupperware, Avon, Pampered Chef, Amway. And she always dragged me along. I was never so glad when I went away to college and could say no, I don't wish to do that. One of my cousins is very high in the Amway cult pyramid and is always calling me, asking me to start a branch in Vegas. I kindly tell her I hate cheap shit and like to go to Costgo. She gets pissed every time but still keeps calling...

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