Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pocket Change

I suspect that a man’s pockets are just a purse attached to his pants. We carry those things that we need, (or accumulate) on a daily basis in much the same manner that a woman’s handbag slowly gains weight until it takes an earth mover to carry it to and from the car. How many of you women permanently lean to the right from the weight of your purses? This conclusion comes after many hours of researching the answer to GingerB’s question on yesterday's blog, “Tell me, man blogger, why do men need so many coins?” There are pages and pages on the World Wide Web dedicated to researching the contents of men’s pants. Why do men jingle the coins in their pockets? What do men carry in their wallets? What do men carry in their pockets? I’m certain that this was exactly what Al Gore had in mind when he invented the internet so many years ago.

The Boss has been asking me these questions for years, and I’ve been answering her with the most honest answer that I can think of.

I dunno.

The stuff just gets there. And when there gets to be too much stuff, it has to be emptied. The most natural place to empty the contents of your pants pockets is on top of your dresser. This is the natural course of life. Men accumulate stuff in their pockets. Their pockets get filled. Their pockets must be emptied.

So, what do men have in their pants? According to multiple websites, the answer is cash, phones, wallets, and condoms. A couple of guys added combs, Carmex, and Vaseline to the list of things they carry in their pockets. There’s an early morning EEWWW! for you. I assume that the prophylactic answer was written by single men. At least, I hope so. Married ladies, does your husband carry condoms in his pockets? I thought the telltale ring in the wallet went away after the words, “I do.”

There is considerable virtual space dedicated to answering two questions. The first is, “How much change should a man carry in his pockets?’ The second is, “Why do men jingle the change in their pockets?”

One writer suggested that men should “always have a quarter in your pocket in case your mobile phone fails or you’re located, as I am, in panhandler territory.” This is odd, because a quarter will not make a phone call anymore and offering a quarter to a panhandler could get you knifed. This writer went on to suggest that “a gentleman should also carry $200 in folding money in case he needs to tip a cop or settle a fender bender amicably. The other coins are useless. I haven’t had a dime since my last divorce.” Another writer suggested that men carry change in their pockets “because it makes them feel like they actually have money. In my case, it's just an allowance.”

An interesting comment on the change question came from a writer who observed that “Our change has become just that, change back from bills, and not something that can be used to actually purchase anything. Coffee is no longer a dime a cup, but $1.75. So instead of carrying a couple of dimes, we carry a $5 and bust that up to purchase our refreshments.” That is an interesting thought. We are not dropping small change here and there anymore because small change will not buy us much. We have to accumulate a lot more change in order to buy something using coinage. There is also an image problem with counting out coins to make a purchase. Guys do not want to look cheap, or look like they are scraping the bottom of the barrel to make a purchase by counting out change. A guy will break every bill in his wallet and pocket the change before he will start using the change to make a purchase. Who wants to look like a Babi on a pension counting out coins from a little plastic change purse? We’re men, dammit! We flip bills. We don’t count pennies!

There are about a gabillion theories as to why men jingle the change in their pockets, from simple nervous habits to things that I will not reprint on my blog. I think the best answer to Kathleen’s question, “WHY do men play with the change in their pockets?” is that I don't want them playing with the change in my pockets!


Teacher Mommy said...

And who is "them" in this particular scenario? The Man (as opposed to "the man" with the pockets)? Your children? Your wife? Random stranger? That hot brunette who *cough* never mind? Monkeys?

Just wondering.

Also, I was VERY fond of those piles of coins left by my father's bedside. *ahem*

Kellie said...

I'm sorry. This post is completely lost on me. I couldn't stop giggling after you asked the question, "So, what do men have in their pants?"

Papa Bear said...

As soon as young boys get change, they put it in their pockets and jingle it to prove (to themselves, if no one else) that they have money, and because boys like to make noises.

When they get keys, they put them in their pockets and jingle them to remind themselves that they have keys, and the freedom those keys represent. And they like to make noise. Especially when that noise means they're going somewhere. (Ever wonder why long chains for wallets and keys, not to mention long chains for no apparent reason, are so popular with teens?) They continue to jingle their coins out of habit.

Men continue jingling their coins and keys primarily out of habit, even if their coins won't buy anything, and their keys won't take them anywhere they're eager to go.

Kathleen said...

Laughing out loud on every point! Thanks for doing all the hard work to provide answers to these pressing questions. They needed answering, and you were certainly the man to roll up your sleeves, empty your pockets...

And I guess I'll accept your answer to my question.

CrossView said...

Ok, I'm gonna have to ask Guy about this.

He doesn't keep change in his pocket. He empties it on a bowl on his nightstand. He carries cash - and not much since he has children.

And he can't stand extra keys. He has a minimal set for work. A minimal set for the Harley. And a minimal set for the car. He carries only the sets he needs for whichever outing he's going on.

And a pocketknife.

When we're together, any extra "stuff" gets dumped in my purse -

What's a "Babi"?

The_Kid said...

Arby provides the correct answer "I dunno"

No One knows. I can't stand anything in my pockets. Maybe I said that already.

Anyway, at this point ladies, ANYTHING you want to know about men, ask away and I will be as honest as possible with an answer. I'm to old to hide anything and don't care about the young studs to the point I'd try to protect their secrets.

I'm not even interested in reciprocation. I don't want to know anymore about women than I already know.

svenelson said...

I noticed with both my boys they started putting things in their pockets at around 6 years old. I have found the following items in the washer and dryer: rocks, marbles, bouncy balls, scraps of paper, Lego guys, quarters, dollars, candy or empty wrappers. Not sure what age they will start unloading their pockets...maybe when their pants reach a certain weight.

Michelle said...

Strangely, my hubby puts nothing in his pockets but wallet, cell phone, and keys. Everything else is put into my purse, and if we're together, he usually puts the above mentioned in my purse. Maybe I should make him carry it so he can "lean to the right"

Have a great Thanksgiving!