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We invited some friends and neighbors over for Thanksgiving and one family hasn't returned my plastic bundt carryer and lidded pie case. I need both this week. They are very busy-3 kids, both work and I rarely see them. Can I leave a note?? I am afraid I'll seem pushy.
There is a backstory-many years ago in another neighborhood, I gave a dish of something (I forget what) to a neighbor and it was never returned. I knocked on the door to ask about the bowl a month later (It fit in my steamer and I used it to cook rice) and the husband didn't know anything about it, but I looked down at the coffee table and they were using it as an ashtray.

Any advice....Ann

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  1. Ask for them back saying you need them this week for another event.....I've stopped giving any "decent" containers to anyone as I know I won't get them back, so I save butter containers & takeout containers to send people home with stuff.....

    7 Replies
    1. re: jenscats5

      I would do the same as far as asking for the items back. What a great idea to send people off with recycled containers when possible. I often buy inexpensive containers at the "dollar" store for this purpose.

        1. re: jenscats5

          You are not being pushy to ask for your things back. You are not talking about throw away glad plastic containers here!

          Just leave a note or voicemail that says you need them back, You can even add that you know they are super busy so you are happy to swing by and get them-maybe they can leave them at their mailbox, in the garage, on the porch, etc

          gah! I keep replying to the wrong post when I mean to reply to OP! sorry!

          1. re: foodieX2

            I think this is the best option -- they have to know that it's not cheapy throwaway stuff that you won't miss...and if you make it so they don't have to actually *do* anything to get it back to you other than leave it in an agreed-upon spot, they really have no excuse not to do so.

            I go to the local Asian market and pick up a package of 25 takeout containers before we have a big do at our house (aluminium pans with lids, or plastic takeout containers)

            Then people can take things home, and I don't even *want* it to come back.

            1. re: sunshine842

              I have a case of 'chinese food containers' (240 quart containers with lids) that I bought a couple of years ago for $30 for sending leftovers home with people.

              It's not rude to leave them a note. They may be hoping to make something to put in it as a gift to you, or have other good intentions.

              1. re: jeanmarieok

                Sorry if I've got this in the wrong place. If I want a container back, I'll put a piece of freezer tape on the top or bottom with my name on it as a "gentle reminder" to return it. However, I've also learned to send leftovers or kitchen gifts in recycled or not-needed containers.

        2. If it's something you use DON'T LEND IT OUT. Period. End of story.

          1. They have had over two weeks. Chances are the item has become invisible to them at this point.
            Requesting it's prompt return is not pushy at all.

            1. Knock on the door and say "I'm sorry I forgot to come collect my bakeware. I've been driven off the couch by my imminent plans to bake a bunt cake." If they're not home, leave a note to the same effect, asking them to leave it outside your door. And if you mind not getting your equipment back right away, next time go get it sooner.

              1. If it is something really important , don't send it .
                If you must, be explicit about wanting it back and write your name on it with a marker.

                1. Did you ever end up getting your other bowl back from the "using it as an ashtray" people?

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: annfaulkner

                      Dang! Buuuuut, did you want it back? :)

                  1. I'd likely call/leave a voice message letting them know you need to pop by "tomorrow" to pick up your containers as you have other baking to do. Ask them to leave the containers in a bag on their porch if they're going to be out.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                      Ask them to leave the containers in a bag on their porch if they're going to be out.

                      Good idea.

                    2. Or you can have the issue that your Mom cleans three years of gladware you have given her food to take home, and stuffs it in a bag to pass to you at a lunch appointment hoping it might return to her full of food.

                      Seriously, This isn't about pushy. This is about getting something back into your house that you own and need. Heck, you don't even need to need it; it's yours!

                      1. I would just call and casually let them know I am in the neighborhood and would be stopping by to pick them up because I need it. Simple. If you don't make a big deal they shouldn't.

                        Save your nice containers. If you run out of takeout containers use ziplocks, aluminum foil, or saran wrap over a disposable plate. You've been gracious enough and unfortunately not everyone is as thoughtful or considerate to return it back. I hope you get it back, let us know how it goes.

                        1. Imo it is time to teach them a lesson they will never forget, lay down the law.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: redfish62

                            Teach them a lesson? lay down the law?

                            First let me say that a few weeks doesn't seem unreasonable for people that "rarely see each other". I n fact, It wouldn't seem altogether unreasonable to wait until next time they saw each other.

                            Second, I would say that if one were to "lay down the law" about something as trivial as this, one might gain the return of some plastic ware at the cost of some friends.

                            Does these circumstances strike you as unheard of or even unusual?

                            1. re: FrankJBN

                              I'm thinking redfish forgot to type the /sarcasm command.

                          2. This is exactly why no bowls, plates, serving trays, fluted glasses, or whatever should ever leave your possession. If you relinquish them at any time, there is always the possibility that you'll have to BEG to get them returned. In your case with the "bowl" for example, that "bowl" has met a horrible death. It's likely receiving burning cigarettes as we speak ... not too much unlike some sweating tortured POW somewhere. Horrible visual, I know, horrible. But true.

                            Many years ago I purchased a German Chocolate Cake at a fund raiser. The woman who baked the cake *volunteered* to give me her Tupperware cake carrier to transport the masterpiece cake home. After accepting her offer, I had no idea that I was supposed to return the carrier the next day, so needless to say, she reminded me of it the next two days and I eventually returned it on the 3rd day, clean and intact. I didn't mind the reminders, because I knew that the Tupperware piece cost about $20 or more, and that her generosity helped me transport a cake home in one piece. The least I could do is return her property to her promptly.

                            Ann, in your case, just send a friendly reminder and let her know you need your carrier returned promptly because of the upcoming holidays. I'm sure she will understand. She might be a little embarassed by it all, but I'm sure she'll just justify it with the excuse that she's been busy with the 3 kids and all. (It happens all the time with busy moms, LOL). Happy Holidays !!

                            15 Replies
                            1. re: Cheese Boy

                              I just remembered, a few years back, my Mom gave some close friends bourbon balls for Christmas and decided her heirloom Waterford goblets would be a nice packaging device. She was shocked that people not only didn't return the glasses, but they were thanking her profusely for her generosity and good taste. I never heard how it worked out in the end, she was going to hint to everyone that she assumed they would return the glasses.

                              Me, I'm a saver of deli containers and bakery clamshells, especially around the holidays.

                              1. re: coll

                                I would not blame your mother's close friends for assuming the Goblets were part of the gift. Your mother should have cleared up the misunderstanding the second they thanked her so much for her generosity. It would just get even more awkward at a later time.

                                1. re: coll

                                  I would have assumed the goblet was part of the gift.

                                    1. re: cleobeach

                                      Me three, unless something is given in Tupperware or a pie plate etc. I would assume it was part of the gift.

                                      1. re: melpy

                                        Wow I just realized something else! This must run in the family: My aunt, who is the only sibling of my mother, used to make wonderful plum puddings every year and ship them far and wide. She would go to Zabars upstairs and get nice white beehive type bowls, made in England, to bake them individually, and that's how they she sent them. After many years, she said she was tired of making them and they were so unhealthy anyway, but long afterwards someone told me she was mad that she never got the bowls back from anyone, ever. Guilty as charged! I love those bowls and have a set of at least 4, since she never directly asked for them back. But I felt bad when I found out the real story.

                                        No wonder I hoard plastic take out containers for leftovers, especially this time of year, considering my family history! As far as Christmas cookies, I usually distribute at least 25 or 30, and I go to the dollar store and get nice tins or ceramic plates; people do sometimes try to return them plus some really insist on returning them, saying give it back to me with more cookies next year. There is definitely different ways people look at this issue.

                                        1. re: coll

                                          It would never have occurred to me that the container of a shipped goodie would be expected back.

                                          1. re: meatn3

                                            It didn't me either, but weird that my mother and her only sister have some kind of history (I guess) of fancy containers and their being returned: Maybe with something in return inside? I don't know, the secret wasn't passed on to me, or any of our generation.

                                          2. re: coll

                                            Did it for years and was mad she never got the bowls back.

                                            Huh. problaly would have occurred to me after the first year that Hey nobody sent the bowls back. Certainly after the first several years a trend should have been noticed.

                                            1. re: coll

                                              Your aunt should have made it clear to people that she wanted the bowls back. I would have also assumed it was part of the gift, but I bet those bowls got expensive! :)
                                              My mother in law used to make trifles to give to friends and neighbors, using an assortment of bowls - the rule was if you wanted another one you gave her the bowl back before Christmas came again.

                                              1. re: jujuthomas

                                                That's a good rule, especially if everyone is aware of it!

                                                1. re: coll

                                                  apparently she was quite strict about it! :)

                                            2. re: melpy

                                              Me four, but anything given as a gift would be considered part of that gift. Different than sending some leftovers home with a guest.

                                        2. re: coll

                                          Absoultely part and parcel of the gift.

                                          1. re: coll

                                            I agree -- I would assume that a gift includes the entire gift -- the container and the food.

                                            Leftovers after a Thanksgiving dinner at someone's house is one thing -- something that comes all wrapped and tied up in ribbons is something else entirely.

                                        3. Hell, we can't even get my SIL to return a cake pan that belonged to my mother. I was making a particular dessert that my mother made a lot and since it's pretty much the same amount of work to make two as it is one, and it was a favorite dessert of my brother's, I gave them one. I did not bother to ask for the pan back soon enough, because when I did ask, the response was, "oh, I'm sure we returned that". If I made an issue of it then I'm the bad guy. The only real problem is that it was one of a pair of cake pans. Oh well. So far the solution has been to not bother sharing with said SIL.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: John E.

                                            John John JOHN. That is a completely different thread! LOL Good luck getting your pan back. Save yourself the simmering anger ulcer, deem the item pannapped, decide the time spent thusfar as the mourning period and then go out and buy a pretty pan that you can one day count as an heirloom to your bickery and backstabby progeny.

                                            1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                              You really misread my post. I'm not dwelling on the lost pan. It has already been replaced with an almost identical vintage cake pan that was used by some other mother. I got ot for '99ยข at a thrift store.

                                            2. re: John E.

                                              I am normally a fan of just not worrying about containers, but sometimes you gotta. I've found mild blackmail to be effective. I used to bake quite often for the nurses at work, and would keep track of which things they liked the best. One time I said "sniff, sniff. I don't have any more big containers, so I guess I can't bring those peanut butter chocolate chip cookies anymore" and from then on, they appeared freshly washed on my desk the next day. :-D

                                            3. When I give away food I always consider that I will never see my container again. That way, it saves on the resentment later.

                                              18 Replies
                                              1. re: hetook

                                                The only exception to me is Tupperware, I do always expect that back and have managed not to lose any, although a few close calls.

                                                1. re: coll

                                                  Let be honest. If somebody sends you home with an amazing re pas... might you consider the tupperware go with it?... 'specially if they come from money?? UNLESS ther're UPFRONT and say "HEY, I need my plastic CAKE SAVER back". ( thos f-ing cheapskates).

                                                  1. re: hetook

                                                    My Tupperware is "vintage" as I received most of it around when I got married in the 1970s; women always comment on it when I use it to bring things to get togethers. Nothing involving being cheap, but since I don't come from money what do I know. It is common knowledge in my social circle that Tupperware is somewhat like a family heirloom. Not so much with any other containers that I can think of. And what is "an amazing re pas" just so I can understand your argument a little more clearly?

                                                    1. re: coll

                                                      a re pas... is the term in french for meal past. I forgot to say froid (cold). Being Canadian, it is the time when tupperware is used. I'm wondering why would anyone lend out an heirloom?

                                                      1. re: hetook

                                                        I think you'll find that it's "repas" (one word) -- and it's the word for "meal", whether past, present, or future. http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionari...

                                                        Nonetheless, Tupperware is expensive, and most people know it fully well, so not returning it is willingly choosing to ignore the cost (and hassle of obtaining it, since there are no retail stores).

                                                        If given a container, I always mention that I will get the container back to them -- if they don't want it back, they say so.

                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                          This Tupperware talk reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer gives some food in a Tupperware container to a homeless guy. A day later Kramer asks the homeless guy for his Tupperware back and the guy refuses. Kramer is upset and the guy said that Kramer should have told him he wanted it back. Kramer said, "It's Tupperware! It's implied"!

                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                            Yes, that is exactly it! Kramer was very wise in his own way.

                                                          2. re: sunshine842

                                                            I'm curious as to why someone would force you home with ther're leftover food.+expect you must enjoy it and also rembre to give back the container ? Geez, that sounds like quite an imposition. ..Wha if the guests were just being polite. When you insisted to take something home.They did it,just to make you feel good? I'm not saying this is you.

                                                            1. re: hetook

                                                              You've really never had leftovers offered to you?

                                                              Not at your parents, family, good friends or a potluck?

                                                              It isn't that unusual in my world. We also bring food by if someone is under the weather, just had a baby or in other stressful situations.
                                                              No one is forced. While it is hoped they will enjoy it there is no quizzing.

                                                              Is remembering to return a container any harder than remembering to return an umbrella or a book which was loaned to you?

                                                              A sad state of affairs if a simple gesture of hospitality/friendship/decency is looked upon as an imposition.

                                                              1. re: hetook

                                                                who said anything about "forcing" anything, or anything even remotely related to "imposition"?

                                                                Not sure what you're reading - -but it wasn't written, or even implied, anywhere in my post.

                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                  I'm not gonna argue but if u send someone home with something of yours. It's an active movement on your part. Expecting them to give you something back in return is a pass/aggressive attack. It doesn't sound true to give a gift and want something back. Why not give your food in a disposable container?..then you're free and so is your guest. This my last post.

                                                                  1. re: hetook

                                                                    Gotta ask -- (edit) -- have you never taken or given leftovers? I see you're Canadian, so this can't be a completely new idea. Taking leftovers home from a big communal dinner is a pretty common tradition, and has been for at least a few generations.

                                                                    The food is the gift (sort of -- in most cases the guest has brought food to the meal, so taking home leftovers isn't really a gift as much as it is sharing the bounty of the meal); but the dishes are not -- and unless it's tied up with a bow like the unfortunate example of the Waterford stems above -- the dishes are expected to be returned. It's unspoken, it's traditional, and *most* folks don't question it.

                                                                    You'll also see that I *do* send leftovers home in disposable containers -- not because I don't trust them to return my dishes, but because we all lead busy lives and it's one less thing to deal with.

                                                                    If it's a piece that's precious (expensive or sentimental value), then I agree, it shouldn't leave the house -- but the rest? Yes, you should expect it to be returned.

                                                                  2. re: sunshine842

                                                                    Thanks for your insights hetook, but I was talking about BRINGING dessert to someone else's party, and leaving before the soiree was totally over. If you read both of my original comments you might see it a little differently. So, to elaborate, I bring a dessert, and upon my departure I ask them if they would like to keep it in/on the container I brought, and usually since things are still going on, I am certainly not going to demand another clean platter plus for them to wash mine in addition. The only impostition would be that kind of situation, and I'm never going there. My friends' parties can be pleasantly lively and I'm not into harshing the buzz. Guess you don't know me very well, I would be the last to FORCE someone to do anything, especially to enjoy my food if they feel otherwise. You must run in very different circles from me. Forcing someone to enjoy my food is a really weird concept.

                                                              2. re: hetook

                                                                Ah like "repast"? I never got past French II. Thanks for my word of the day, I will try to use it 10 times ;-)

                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                  Hmmm the edit function doesn't seem to be working.

                                                                  To answer your question hetook, I don't "lend out" my Tupperware; I take cakes and pies to parties and sometimes when it's only half gone and I'm leaving, I say just keep the goodies in it for now, just to save time waiting for replating and washing it all. But I wait with bated breath until they are returned. If it is someone I'm not very close though, it doesn't get left behind, I'll dump the remaining contents somewhere and take it home dirty rather than risk it disappearing.

                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                    Just add: keep the goodies and I'll get the container back another time. No guessing etc.

                                                                    1. re: melpy

                                                                      Even when I say I'll get it later, I'm very nervous until it's back in my own hands.

                                                            2. re: hetook

                                                              Sending someone home with left overs is different than sending or giving a food gift. In the gift situation one should include a container that does not need to be returned. It's part of the package. The reusable/disposable containers are perfect for this

                                                        2. I've had the opposite happen - when the intended gift was a lovely container that I felt would be nicer if filled with something edible, only to have the empty container returned to me when the contents had been eaten.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Peg

                                                            I'll admit, I've had that happen too, even if it's only a leftover takeout container.

                                                          2. I wouldn't leave a note. I'd just call them a leave a message on their voicemail. They'll get it when they get home from work and may just drop by with your containers. Or so you hope.

                                                            1. Yeah I learned the hardway as well. Beautiful jelly jars, flip-top bottles full of ginger beer / hard cider, pretty cookie tins.

                                                              The jelly jars I wouldn't ask back from friends, but blood family I thought that would be a given especially since I asked for them to save them for me.

                                                              Flip-top bottles, come on guys, you don't homebrew and those baby's aren't cheap.

                                                              As for the pretty tins to family, I tell them to return them to me to refill with cookies... They have never been returned to be refilled. (I just feel so wasteful sending out a new tin everytime!)

                                                              When I send things to friend, I never expect them back. I recently started saving to-go containers for family now as well.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: Crockett67

                                                                I tell people when I give them a jar of jam or salsa, or a bottle of my homemade liqueurs -- the deal is that you ever hope to have more, you have to return the jar/bottle -- i fyou give me an empty one, I can give you a full one in exchange.

                                                                Works darned near every time, and people now save liqueur bottles for me in hopes the deal holds with bottles I *didn't* fill!

                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                  Good approach. Straightforwardness nearly always works better than hints and silent seething.

                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                    I've told them that, still haven't seen my bottles back...

                                                                    1. re: Crockett67

                                                                      then I'd write it off and not give them any more.

                                                                2. "Using it as an ashtray!!!???" OMG - that would have freaked me out. Yes! Call and ask to retrieve your bundt carrier and pie case. It is not pushy - Just call and tell them you need it and you'll come get it . . . BEFORE they become ash receptacles!

                                                                  1. I think you just have to ask. It is tough. Just say that you need the plastic containers back for something. I think leaving a note is ok, but it would be better to talk in person of course. Good luck.

                                                                    1. Lesson learned :-) Next time get dollar store containers...that's what I do.

                                                                      Funny story, years ago my MIL sent something over (I think it was soup) in an old mayo jar. We put it out with the recycling when the soup was finished.

                                                                      She went on and on about getting her jar back.....Dh bought her a jar of mayo and gave that to her to shut her up...lol

                                                                      13 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                        Sounds like my nana, she had a fit when my husband threw away a very well used cool whip container. It wasn't like she didn't have about 1,000 other re-used food containers in the house.

                                                                        My mother is the same way. She makes it VERY clear about which cookie containers must be returned to her. She is particularly attached to the Wendy's salad variety.

                                                                        1. re: cleobeach

                                                                          Very funny...my Mom's another plastic container hoarder...and then don't get me started on ziplocks, which she washes out and re-uses. When she tried to put some leftovers in a bag that still had some crumbs in it (her eyesight isn't what it used to be) I discovered her "stash".

                                                                          Next time we visited I brought Costco boxes of all three sizes for her. I think I totally stressed her out. What on earth would she do with those when she had so many "good ones" in her drawer. sigh....

                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                            Ha! I completely understand.

                                                                            I came from a bread bag family with the occasional cereal box liner thrown in for good measure.

                                                                            If a ziplock would have come into the house, it was washed and reused until it fell apart. Or "saved" for later use for a leftover deemed more worthy of use. No way would have anyone in my family purchased such a product, too expensive! I still feel like I am being financially wreckless when I buy real ziplocks or Saran wrap.

                                                                            I love reusing things, reducing waste, etc. but some in my family definately border on hoarders when it comes to the constant accumulation of containers/bags/tins - hundreds of random containers and lids bursting from the cupboards and stored in bags in the basement.

                                                                            1. re: cleobeach

                                                                              My Aunt died over 20 years ago. When her daughter was cleaning out the house, she got to the attic and there was a huge box....like movers use. It was filled with margarine tubs.

                                                                              1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                OMG I have one of them in my garage, hope I don't pass away before I dispose of the contents!

                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                  LOL, coll! Oh, good heavens, get rid of them right soon! When my mother died, family and I took nearly a full day just going through the kitchen (+ basement storage) of useless food containers. Never knew she was such a packrat until then.

                                                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                                                    My sister visited for a week or so last year, and purged my cabinets and garage of jars and containers. I am back to where I started, although I am a TINY bit better at throwing some out occasionally.

                                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                                      Sisters are the best for purging. It's not their stuff so they have no attachment to it. My sister is brutal that way. She convinces me I don't need whatever is in that box I haven't opened for 15 years.


                                                                                      1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                                        Sounds like my aunt and my mother. I think my aunt purged a bunch of my mother's outdated clothing and mom is STILL talking about it five years later.

                                                                                        1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                                                          Yup. My sister helped me do that when I moved to my townhouse a year and a half ago. She gave me 5 seconds to say "stay" or "go" and if I waffled, it went into the "go" pile.

                                                                                          "If you have to evenly remotely think about it, you don't need it." she said. So true.

                                                                                  2. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                    my mother and aunt are cleaning out the grandparents house... found several boxes of mason jars and at least one of mayo jars - in case they ever ran out of mason jars, lol.

                                                                                    1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                      Well if they are glass mayo jars, those are very rare and collectible now, at least to us bottle hoarders.

                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                        they were glass mayo jars... unfortunately my mother didn't think they were valuable. She took them home and recycled 'em.

                                                                          2. I'm very generous with my leftovers and my friends and family KNOW that if they don't return my tupperware I will get The Resentment and refuse them live-saving treatment or hit them with the car or something. For the most part they return it because they are terrified that I will stop giving them food.

                                                                            Maybe it's a Greek thing... but I GAVE YOU FOOD you b&stard, i made it with TIME and LOVE and MONEY and ALL THAT - it's insulting that you couldn't return my kindness with basic decency-slash-clean tupperware. If I know it's someone I won't see for ages and I can't fit it in a sour cream tub then I give up a tupper and mentally add 2$ to the cost of my dinner party. That usually works.

                                                                            1. I buy a couple dozen deli cups at amazon. I use the heck out of them and am happy to give one up at the price

                                                                              1. When I give food as a gift, the container is part of the gift. And when I receive food as a gift, I would likely to assume the same, unless told otherwise. Leftovers from a holiday meal are another matter. If someone sends leftovers home with me, they get the container back within a couple days, washed, unless they have specifically told me not to bother. That said, I would always mention if I expect the container back.

                                                                                1. Uh - it's yours. It belongs to you. It's been several weeks. Instead of blasting in capital letters on here, simply ask for them back. Period.

                                                                                  Don't understand the problem.

                                                                                  1. I suggest you immediately invest in a couple sets of disposable containers.

                                                                                    It will save you considerable future headache.

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: calumin

                                                                                      They make cheap disposable cake and pie carriers? I'd love to know your source so I can get a few for myself.

                                                                                      1. re: Leepa

                                                                                        If you don't save them from grocery store purchases, just go to a restaurant supply place and buy a sleeve (rather than a whole case). Very handy and sanitary too!

                                                                                      2. I have to share this story from a co-worker: His mother and his aunt never got along. When their mother, his grandma, passed on, his mother hosted the mourner's repast at her home. At the end of the meal, the "difficult" aunt went out to her car and returned with a shopping bag full of empty tupperware and proceeded to help herself to a share of the "leftovers!" No invitation, no discussion. The family was slack-jawed. So I guess....be happy that at least your guests don't presume to bring their own containers.
                                                                                        Years ago I sent a neighbor a huge tupperware of beef stew after the birth of her 2nd child and it still rankles that she never returned the container. I chalked it up to sleep deprivation, but yeah, I still want it back.

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: relays96

                                                                                          Seems like Tupperware should be treated like a newborn babe ... "Never let it out of your sight".

                                                                                          1. re: relays96

                                                                                            In my family it was "if you want left overs brings containers" during the holidays. My college aged male cousin would bring his set of tupperware and happily filled up enough for at least a couple meals.

                                                                                            What I find rude is returning dirty tupperware. Roommate brought left overs home from a meal at his girlfriend's. He ate the food, and after about a week of letting the empty containers sitting on his desk, he returned them.

                                                                                            1. re: viperlush

                                                                                              *that* is nasty -- and would be a sure way of making sure he never got another leftover from my kitchen.

                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                Yeah, that was the kindest of my reactions. There is a reason I am hiding my Emile Henry bakeware and le Creuset while I'm away for Xmas. I won't be around to supervise him.

                                                                                          2. The other side of the story:

                                                                                            DH died earlier this year. Food arrived, not surprisingly, nearly all in disposable containers, but a couple not. They were duly returned, except a plate, which had brownies or perhaps cookies. Older plate, plastic. Thought I knew from whom it came. Nope, said she, not mine. Asked around. No takers.

                                                                                            Now, I know after years as a nurse that part of the grief process is memory gaps. And it's a good thing I knew it or I'd be hieing myself off to a neurologist post-haste. So I'm not surprised that I can't recall who brought it (or the other, larger, gaps), but I surely wish I could find out whose it is.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: lemons

                                                                                              When we have big neighborhood get togethers, I always write our name on masking tape and stick it on the bottom, if I want it returned. If someone really wants it back, they will most likely do that, so don't feel bad!

                                                                                            2. So, any progress in getting your items back?

                                                                                              1. Just because it is the holidays and there seems to be lots of pent up anger about tupperware and the audacity of kindness:

                                                                                                Sometimes people return tupperware to me that is not mine and sometimes I do not tell them that it is not mine. I love those pieces especially.


                                                                                                And to the poster who wrote about using repast ten times to learn it. Than you for a mighty and snorty laugh.

                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                  That makes me think of my first office job eons ago. I used to volunteer to clean out the communal fridge periodically because I'd clean out and save the disgusting abandoned tupperware containers. That's how I built my initial collection. Most fridge cleaners just threw them all away.

                                                                                                  1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                    i've also gotten a couple nice pieces from fridge cleanouts... even a couple pieces of pyrex.

                                                                                                    1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                                                      Pyrex I might be tempted to salvage -- but I have seen some lifeforms thriving in office-fridge-dwelling Tupperware that there aren't enough dishwasher cycles on the planet to mentally assure me they're dead.

                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                        very true - ::shudder:: - there are some that just MUST be tossed. the ones I took were cleaned and left sitting on top of the fridge forever... no life forms. :)

                                                                                                2. Mmm, not exactly.

                                                                                                  A Bundt carrier can run $20 easily. A pie container can cost in the same neighborhood depending upon design and manufacturer.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                      Yeah, twenty bucks is worth bitcin' about. I mean, it could have bought a cocktail in a bar. I mean, at least that way the by product wouldn't spend a millennia in a landfilll.

                                                                                                    2. I've never had the problem of something not being returned. Seems to be an unspoken code of good manners.

                                                                                                      Off the food topic though, years ago we had new neighbors move in - in the middle of winter from South Africa. They didn't know what they were in for! I welcomed them with a plate of cookies which was promptly reciprocated. Anyway, come springtime, we loaned them a rototiller, several fans, and a dehumidifier. After several weeks, we asked for the rototiller back so we could do our garden. There was no mention of the other items from either party. We figured it would be end of summer before getting them back. They moved 8 years later and left those items on our driveway as they pulled out of town.

                                                                                                      1. I thought I would put this thread to some immediate good use. I delivered a pyrex dish of funeral potatoes to the neighbor. Her dad just died. On the bottom I sharpied my name. I then wrote a note and taped it to the cover telling her I would pick the pyrex up when I came by next week to check on her.

                                                                                                        On my way out of the house I bumped into another neighbor and we got to talking about the tupperware. She said she likes to give me and another neighbor her good tupperware because we always return the container full of cookies. Made me smile.

                                                                                                        This has been on my mind a lot because I was sort of startled by the seething anger some had and I was wondering how many people I have pissed off in my years of potential inadvertent thoughtlessness. It could all be so easily remedied by asking for it back.

                                                                                                        I love the S. Africa story. We have neighbors that keep our tools. We get them back when we need them by borrowing them and not returning them. It gives us lots of laughs. We will borrow back the dolly when the TV we are getting for Christmas gets delivered.

                                                                                                        1. If it were me I would just call and say "What is a good time for me to stop by to pick up my food carriers"? I mean they are your items after all.

                                                                                                          1. We are fortunate to have a good paper goods/party supply/restaurant supple place near us. Since my sister frequently hosts holiday celebrations, and we like to send all of our collective kids/families home with left-overs, we just go buy a stack of restaurant take-home containers. One pack has lasted us through a couple years of holidays. If I take/give food & want the container back, I make sure I have my name on it, and not just on a piece of masking tape.

                                                                                                            There are also categories of containers: a bundt cake carrier or a lidded pie plate is a heck of a lot different than then plastic Ziplock containers one buys in the supermarket.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                              for Thanksgiving (a few dozen on the headcount), I go down to the Asian supermarket and for a few bucks I get a stack of foil boxes with cardboard lids...

                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                I was happy to find a similar stack of foil boxes at the 99 cent store last Christmas, and 2 in each package. Bought bunches, so still have quite a few left (luckily, the decoration was minimal, so won't be using Reindeer boxes at Easter Bunny time!).

                                                                                                            2. I have friends that always send me away with food in plastic containers. My parents do it, too. After a couple months my Tupperware drawers are overflowing, so I indiscriminately load a bunch of plastic containers in a bag and foist them on the next host I see. I have to say I get more replies along the lines of "where am I going to put all this stuff" than I do "thanks, I was running short of containers."