Often when I hear people make the statement that a spouse, family member or friend does not do certain things that would make them happy, I am surprised.

Are you supposed to depend on other people to make you happy? Who made that rule in the first place? Get over it. That is your job.

Here is a suggestion that worked for me. It is so simple you will wonder why you did not think of it yourself. Once you get the hang of it, everyone looks good.

My delicious chance came several years into my own marriage. Running a summer inn in Maine means flowers in the garden are slow to appear in early season. To brighten up our little office, I called the local florist and ordered a small desk bouquet.

When the young lady asked what to put on the card, I brightly said, “Write, ‘I love you,’ and sign my husband’s name.”

The flowers arrived. I placed them on the desk and poked the sentimental card in the middle of them so all could see. It was more than successful. So much so, I continued my charade even after flowers were blooming in the garden.

Sometimes the card read; “Keep up the good work,” or “Happy Tuesday,” “Hang in there, Baby,” even “Happy 4th of July.” However, every card was signed “Love” and my husband’s name.

Each time someone came into the office they spoke of my sweet and loving guy. Of course my husband mentioned my project was taking its toll on other husbands.

My reply was, “Yes, isn’t it fun? Everyone thinks you are wonderful and are so envious of me.”

It followed that guests took the time to tell my husband what a great person he was, and don’t think for a moment he minded the compliments. And he never gave away my secret. Would you?

Not all spouses have a problem showing affection or appreciation, but enough fall through the cracks to warrant a little help.

If your spouse is a “Type A” hard-charging person, he doesn’t get around to it. The “Type B” laid-back person does not know what to get you.

In either case, you have a gold mine working. Begin with, “Do you know what you are getting me for Christmas, or my birthday, or our anniversary?” (Pick one or all.)

Usually the answer is, “No.” Your response should be, “Don’t worry, I know just where to get it, and I already love it.”

The best part is that there are no returns of unwanted gifts. They are never the wrong size or color, either.

Of course one should not go overboard, but then again perhaps that would not be a bad thing. Your spouse would realize it may be cheaper if he joined the game.

My husband never had that problem, as I am low-maintenance.

So far, anyway. Get happy!

– Special to the Telegram