In just about every aspect of my dad’s life everything is organized, neat, controlled; or at least has the appearance of being so. He has a penchant for clean and orderly. He likes lists. He likes knowing he can find things because everything is in its place; unless he’s hiding christmas presents. He hides christmas presets in ‘safe’ places so no one will find them; himself inlcuded. In many cases his organization of appearance translates into painting things white; he likes the uniform appearance it gives.
For example, he had a pergola built in the back yard of, “…some of the best redwood you can buy. It’s not the heart of the redwood, but the layer just beyond that.”
“That’s cool. Um, why did you paint it white?”
A “Damn, I raised a smartass” grin crossed his face in response to my query.
It is against this backdrop of organized appearance that I ponder this discovery on top of the garage fridge:
He has had this pile of beer caps on top of the fridge for who knows how long. Granted he has occasionally cleaned them off and started a new collection, but there has always been a pile o’ caps. Over the years I have contributed to the pile enjoying sharing this connection with my dad. What connection I was sharing other than piling beer caps I was not sure but I enjoyed sharing nonetheless.
It was kind of fun to pull out a beer, pop off the cap, and just drop it on top of the fridge; with the garbage can no further than a foot away. It felt like I was doing something wrong; rebellious even. But it was ovbviously it was ok because my dad the king of “Did you sweep under the furniture when you swept the porch?”, and “those hedges look uneven, see if you can level them out” was doing it too. Each time I added a cap I smiled a sheepish grin and wondered why he piled beer caps on the fridge.
So, I asked him.
“Well, no particular reason; just kind of convenient to grab a beer take the top of and leave the cap there.” Well, shit, that sure took the wind out of my nostalgic/romantic sail. I was thinking it was something he did as a kid, or something that his dad did.
“Oh, I did use to keep the house key in a can up there; always thought the caps helped disguise that the key would be up there.” Ah, there we go, the practical reason; I knew there was something.
So, there’s the dirty little secret I was sharing with my dad; a ruse to hide the house key. Here I was hoping it was an outlet for his inner slob; shoulda known better. Eh, it’s still fun to add a cap now and then.