I’ve known there were significant differences between male and female species, yet it took an event in the drive-up lane at a fast food restaurant for me to document another. My wife and I had ordered a snack and as I rounded the corner and approached the cash window, I held several dollars ready to process. But, glancing at my wife in the passenger seat, I became perplexed as she feverishly dug inside her purse.

I’ve known there were significant differences between male and female species, yet it took an event in the drive-up lane at a fast food restaurant for me to document another.


My wife and I had ordered a snack and as I rounded the corner and approached the cash window, I held several dollars ready to process.


But, glancing at my wife in the passenger seat, I became perplexed as she feverishly dug inside her purse.


“Wait, and I’ll give you the exact change,” she said in a warning tone.


In the console of my pickup laid perhaps $4 in random coins — which I had no intention of using … ever.


But, for my wife, the challenge of being able to count exact change seemed to be some kind of game.


It was then I recalled how I’ve never seen a woman with a jar of coins, while virtually every guy I’ve known had some type of change collection — whether in a pickle jar in the corner of a room, in the top drawer of a desk or throughout his vehicle, like me.


Apparently, women are born with a mechanism that does not allow them to keep change longer than a few hours.


As a guy, I’ve always treated coins as a necessary by-product of spending hard-earned cash.


I don’t like the sound of it jingling in my pockets, so I deposit it in the truck console or on a shelf in my closet.


There it remains until one day when I’m completely out of paper money. Then, I’ll place it in a Zip-loc freezer bag and exchange it at the bank for more paper currency.


This process makes complete sense to a guy and actually becomes a source of savings for those moments when we’ve overextended our budgets.


The ordeal in the drive-up lane reminded me of other differences I’ve noted over the last number of years.


1. TGIF. Weekends are a time of relaxation — especially to guys, meaning if we’re at the lake, there are no particular rules stating we must shower in a timely manner. My youngest son tried this novel approach to relaxing a couple weekends ago. But my wife reminded him that she was still the boss, so he begrudgingly ended up at the shower house.


 2. Using bread. Every guy I know — me included — reaches past the first two or three slices of bread in a loaf when making a sandwich or toast, leaving the remaining pieces jammed sideways. Experience has taught me women are unable to do the same thing because it throws off the aesthetic quality of the bread loaf.


3. Grocery shopping. Of course, it’s been well documented that men do not require lists for shopping. This is mostly due to never willingly following a list, anyway. It sort of parallels asking for directions or building anything from instructions. Let’s face it, we’re not going to change.


4. Attending open houses. There is an unwritten rule, known commonly as “the snoop factor,” which leads women to seek out and attend open houses or house viewings.


It really doesn’t matter whether they’re in the market or haven’t the faintest desire to relocate. Men, on the other hand, would rather have their chest hairs waxed than walk through a house A: for decorating ideas or B: because a friend of a friend once lived there.


There are several other differences between men and women also, but further research will be required before I can share them.


Meanwhile, I’m looking for a new stash for my collection of change.


Sometimes, women don’t believe their significant others require emergency funds in a Zip-Loc, either. 


Ken Knepper is publisher of The Newton Kansan. He can be contacted at kenneth.knepper@thekansan.com.