5 Ways to Make Your Mate Feel Great

Raisins are so gross I have to put on gloves to touch them. That’s why, when my husband spots freshly baked oatmeal raisin cookies that I have made Raisinswith my own little (gloved) hands, he knows it’s all about him. Not because I had a hankering for cookies, not because I wanted a spoonful of cookie dough (ugh – raisin dust contamination), not because I enjoy the act of baking. The whole batch is his to do with as he wants with no worries about who will get the last cookie.  And it makes him smile. Which makes me smile.

An ideal way to make our mates feel great is to give them a gift/a moment/a time that is all about them – with no ulterior agenda. Here are five suggestions:

  1. Thoughtful food. Turn routine grocery shopping into a quest to find that favorite item your spouse hasn’t had in ages – even though you’re not crazy about it. You know – the blast-from-the-past Good & Plentys or that pomegranate that you need to clear an afternoon to get the fruit out of. Or make a dish the way your mate likes it – strogganoff with mushrooms in it; pot pie with carrots in it; ham casserole with peas in it.  (Note: It’s not cheating if you leave the pieces of mushroom and carrots large enough to pick out of your own dish if you do so discreetly – but good luck with the peas.)
  2. A customized outing. Surprise your mate with tickets for that special movie they want to see. But wait – that’s not the gift part. The part that says “this is all about you” is when you proffer the tickets with no accompanying snarky remark, you sit through the movie without looking at your watch pointedly while sighing loudly, and you refrain from ever using it as leverage [i.e. “I went to that movie with you on (insert month, day, and minute) so you owe me (insert selfish desire)].
  3. Show you are thinking of them when they’re not there. Cut something out of the paper to bring home because they would think it’s interesting. Call just to tell them something funny you heard on the radio that you think they’d get a kick out of.  Text that you just wanted to say again how good dinner was last night – the strogganoff with the mushrooms in it was delicious!
  4. Notes.  Tuck them in a lunch bag, briefcase, underwear drawer, make-up bag. Prop them on a steering wheel, bed pillow, or computer keyboard. Now I’m not talking about practical notes like “Trash goes out tonight” – I’m talking whimsical notes like “You’ve got a great smile” or “Looking forward to seeing you at home.” Something that you know, even though you can’t see them, put a smile on their face. (Note: The terms ‘whimsical’ and ‘corny’ may be used interchangeably.)
  5. Frame it. That special thing – the one that you mentioned several times they should get rid of. The t-shirt from 6th grade camp. The program from a favorite play. The album cover that has been album-less for twelve years. For 3-D objects such as sports balls, lucky shoes, and her first doll, use a shadowbox or Plexiglas cube to display. These precious items can often be found at the bottom of drawers, the back of closets, and other places where they have been safe from your purge instincts.

Well, those are my 5 suggestions to make your mate feel great. Tell us about yours. Have you given or received in a way that was clear it was all about the other? Have a great idea for doing so? Share the wealth! (But keep it clean – my Mother reads this!)

Shel Harrington

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