My friends,

The nonprofit that I direct recently got some new staff, and one of them observed to me that I seem to hate everything. In fact, I’ve even developed a “Claw of Hatred,” where my right hand goes up in a claw a few inches from my face whenever I talk about something I despise. “Facebook!” I would say, one hand clawing at the air. Here are some other things that also get The Claw: Crocs, orange juice without pulp, that curly-haired repulsive-looking guy who looks like a troll on crack, fundraising dinners, children singing backup in unison (it’s creepy), people dressed up as animals (even creepier and more disturbing), whole-wheat pasta (disgusting), people who spit a loogey in public (almost as disgusting as whole-wheat pasta), and  that stupid song by Jason Mraz “I’m Yours,” the lyrics of which are so insipid and inane that I want to claw off my ears each time it comes on.

“So what makes you happy?” one of the new staff asked. So that made me think. I’ve been too bitter and negative lately, hating everything. But life is too short to spend in hatred and bitterness and making small voodoo dolls of the guy and punching it over and over. I thought about the things that made me happy: Roasted seaweed sheets. Soy flan. The apartment, when it’s clean and smells like Febreze. Rainy Saturday mornings. That Geico commercial lady, Flo. She’s hilarious.

None of those things beat food storage containers. On Sunday I was so excited to open the newspaper ads section. Rubbermaid Stainshield containers are on sale! 20-piece set for twelve bucks, a saving of 48%! Run, don’t walk, to your nearest Target! What are you waiting for? What’s wrong with you people?! This deal won’t last forever! Jameelah and I had to go to three Targets before we found one that had them in stock! But after calling around, and getting a raincheck at one store, we were able to buy the last two sets.

I have been thinking a lot about what makes people happy, and have found no discernable pattern. Why do so many women obsess over shoes? What’s so great about shoes? I have three pairs of shoes, and have used them for the past ten years, which averages to be about one pound of shoe per year. Shoes don’t make me happy. They’re just things that cover your feet so you don’t step on sharp rocks or get frost bitten. That’s it.

Containers, on the other hand, are awesome. After much reflection, I think I understand their appeal. Containers store food, but they also contain hope and potential and security and friendship. When you store leftovers in a plastic container, you are thinking “I have food for the future. I will not starve tomorrow. I can live to pass on my genes.” When you give someone food in one of your container, you are giving them both a gift of your trust and friendship, and also of your resources, a gesture of community bond. When I look at a clean and empty container, I see potential, visualizing all the things that could go in there: flan, soup, chopped raw vegetables to cook the next day. Containers, like the dehydrator, which preserves food indefinitely, are symbolic of preserving the moment, the reality, and thus, ourselves and our own mortality. The clear plastic container represents immortality. And the Stainshield technology, which repels tomato stains, represents the unblemished perfection of this preserved existence.

Am I the only person who thinks this? Am I weird for liking containers this much? Vote now:

  1. No, you are not weird at all. Not any weirder than normal.
  2. 20-piece Stainshield set for $12? OMG, I have to tell my Rubbermaid Stainshield fan club!
  3. Yes, you are a weirdo. Why don’t you find happiness in normal manly things such as beer and football and meat?
  4. Wait…did you say you hate Jason Mraz? What’s wrong with you?! You just don’t appreciate good music. Jason Mraz is a saint. My sister had depression for eighteen years after she lost her leg in a car accident. Then she listened to Jason Mraz, and miraculously her leg grew back. So there.
  5. Sorry, dude, Pyrex all the way.
  6. Did you really spend an entire blog post writing about CONTAINERS? Really? Containers? Have you run out of things to talk about? This is five minutes of my life I will never get back again. Really. Containers.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the kitchen, polishing my new containers.

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