It was in the wake of being felled, once more, by the bottomless pit that is—or rather, was—my drawer of mismatched Tupperware, that I first suspected that Crystal Lake and I might be a good team.
Until two weeks ago, my habitual dealings with this drawer were as follows.
- Rummage uselessly through the wreckage of mismatched containers and lids with increasing despair and crescendoing cursing.
- Smush contents of drawer down sufficiently to slam drawer shut—in manner of zipping up overstuffed suitcase, or gates of hell, or extremely tight jeans; retreat to sofa, and think malevolent thoughts about said drawer and its contents.
- Channel my despair into writing a sad little quip about my Tupperware drawer. To wit, “Dropped a tiny tablet of Adderall into the drawer of mismatched Tupperware this morning. Knew instantly it was lost forever, like a mortal soul in Hades.”
Enter Crystal Lake, who broke the cycle with the following text:
Reader, she had not only thoughts, but also a list of actionable items replete with links. All I had to do was click.
Later, after my new containers had arrived from Amazon and La Bonavita had, in a truly saintly act, discarded all the old Tupperware and replaced them with my new food storage “schema,” I reflected on what had transpired.
My four-step plan yielded a measly line of run-of-the-mill snark and maintained a cycle of chronic food storage dysfunction; Crystal’s four-step plan implemented a complete Tupperware drawer makeover.
With my talent for losing things and procrastination and her talent for … everything else, oh, the things we could do, I thought.
All of which brings me to our joint venture: The Rambling (at the-rambling.com and on Twitter @RamblingC18). The Rambling aspires to do two things: 1) to serve as a hub for collegial, collaborative reading, writing, and thinking about the long, deep, wide eighteenth century, and 2) to publish new, experimental work in the field: work that is more personal, or polemical, or peripatetic than the kind you might publish in a traditional, peer-reviewed format.
We would like as wide a range of people as possible to read and write for The Rambling, so would you please share this information with your friends and followers? The Rambling is a hub, but we want it to be a roomy hub, a capacious hub, a commodious hub, as they might say in the eighteenth century, which is to say, conveniently and comfortably spacious.
But back to Tupperware.
The description of “goods and services” that appears alongside the 1959 trademark details for Tupperware is itself surprisingly capacious, conjuring a vision not only of beleaguered leftovers but also of domestic glamor:
MOLDED PLASTIC TUMBLERS, CANISTERS, [ PITCHERS, ] DISPENSERS; EMPTY CONDIMENT HOLDERS-NAMELY, SALT, PEPPER [ AND KETCHUP ] SHAKERS; [ EMPTY COMPACTS, ] CREAM AND SUGAR CONTAINERS [ AND DISPENSERS; ] [ EMPTY SOAP, HAIR MASSAGE AND TOOTH BRUSH BOXES; MASSAGE DISPENSERS, PLACE CARD HOLDERS, ] BOWLS, CUPS [ AND SAUCERS, ] STORAGE CONTAINERS, [ VACUUM JARS AND MIXERS, COCKTAIL AND BEVERAGE SHAKERS, RECIPE BOXES, ] BREAD BOXES AND TRAYS, [ CAKE BOXES AND TRAYS, BUTTER BOXES AND TRAYS, REFRIGERATOR BOXES,] PIE HOLDERS TO CONTAIN BAKED PIES, LUNCH BOXES, STATIONARY [ AND REVOLVING TRAYS, CAPSULES ]
Tupperware, in this vision, contain but also dispense (mostly condiments but also, uh, massages); they hold but they also shake; they can be stationary, but also revolving; they are molded but also molders; that is to say, they gather discrete elements in new combinations, whether gin and vermouth, humans, or their proxies (place cards) around a dining table. 
Could we say that the vision this trademark description offers is one in which Tupperware hold human parties? It’s a little too cute, I know, but I’m inspired less by Bruno Latour here than by my daughter’s Shopkins. If you don’t know Shopkins (and I envy, you slightly, if you don’t, for they populate my home like Gremlins), they are an anthropomorphized range of tiny household items, including bread bins, cookie jars, and soap dishes.
All Shopkins come into the world with Betty Boop eyes and a relentlessly, aggressively cute attitude; they are therefore slightly terrifying, like the denizens of a twenty-first-century Cave of Spleen: “A Pipkin there like Homer’s Tripod walks; / Here sighs a jar, and there a Goose-pye talks” (Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock, Canto IV, l.51-2).
My own experience bears out this vision of the secret social life of Tupperware, although it’s not nearly so glamorous nor sinister. Even with my all-new food storage schema, my Tupperwares not only hold but also ramble—from drawer to backpack to He-Who-Must-Be-Preserved’s house—before eventually finding their way back home.
I hope The Rambling will likewise be able to both hold and to ramble, and to accommodate all preservers of history’s leftovers, wherever you may choose to wander.
 Here see Zoë Sofia’s critique of historian of technology Lewis Mumford’s distinction between “dynamic” technologies and “static” utensils. “Container Technologies.” Hypatia vol. 15, no. 2 (Spring 2000). 181-201. 190.