On the first Friday of every month, the Australian Writers Centre reveals a new set of story prompts. Writers have 55 hours to submit their best 500-word (or fewer) story.
I don’t know why I was surprised when the ambitious, stilettoed young women in my year morphed into domestic goddesses. Twenty years on, the prefects (forever prefects), set out to plan The Best Reunion Ever. And it was. Funny slideshows of bad hairdos and hilarious fashion choices, and the Best Playlist Ever.
I should have quit while I was ahead, but before I knew it, I was going on picnics, Wiggles concerts and weekends away with my ‘old group from school.’
When the email came for the next get-together, Josh was certain that my outings with the girls were over.
“I know it’s not my thing, but I’ll behave myself, I promise.’
Josh’s laughter turned to concern, but he looked at me intently, and nodded. He trusted me.
Gales of laughter, clinking glasses and the familiarity of old friends should have put me at ease, but I was as nervous as a kitten.
When I arrived, Kate was instructing everyone to get comfy. I squeezed in beside Lynda, who whispered conspiratorially, “I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this all week.”
It was time.
I looked up and shuddered.
Oh dear Lord, why had I come? At least fifteen women were preventing a surreptitious escape.
The table was a tower of Tupperware of all shapes, sizes, colours and designs.
At least the food was good, and there was enough of it to feed a small nation. The most exquisite dip was being passed around in the ‘essential’ Serving Centre, while Sandy proclaimed that no house would be complete without the expandable Cake Taker or the Easy Mix & Pour.
Ming’s mum leant in and gave me a complete inventory of Tupperware items in her cupboard, recommending nearly every product. (Was she on commission?) Lynda madly circled items in the catalogue. Jacqui announced she would buy the whole set of the new Rainbow Range for her brother who’d recently come out. Ali was almost in tears at the prospect of buying a Shape-O for Baby Orlando.
When Sandy spouted the spiel about the world-famous Tupperware guarantee, I bravely piped up. “Actually, I brought a lid that might need replacing. The button for the vent thing isn’t working.” For the first time all evening, the room went quiet.
Sandy was genuinely stunned, but recovered quickly. ‘VentSmart or Heat’n’Eat?’
I lifted the round, cornflower blue lid with the wonky yellow button in the air. “A gift from my grandmother.”
Ming’s mum put her hand on her heart. “Do you have the entire set?”
“God, no! I Kon-Maried the lot of it. I’m a minimalist.”
The air was thick with horror. What had I done??
“I thanked each item for its service,” I said, weakly.
Josh, in his blind, trusting goodness, had gone to bed.
I took the invitation out of my handbag.
A Tupperware Party.
In three weeks.
At my house, with only one sofa, one armchair and one Tupperware item.
Penance for flipping my lid.
Grateful to the Australian Writers Centre for sparking creativity each month with the Furious Fiction competition.