Things that are better than compliments:
Hug me so hard as to lift me off the ground.
Present: a pack of postcards, a Crayola pencil, and a button reading "birthday girl."
Ruffle my hair.
This morning in the elevator one of the hotel maids pushed the button for my floor and then avoided eye contact, which is normal. When it was time for me to get off she said, "I think your haircut looks cool." Without a grain of sugar in her voice: it's as if she were answering a question, probably one both of us had. Technically, that was a compliment, but it felt a whole lot better.
Cover me with a blanket just before I fall asleep.
Tall shadows in late afternoon; the rattle of trains; the glow of streetlights in winter fog; black-and-white photos; finding a boy who gets it.
Water fights. Noogies. Tickling. And love taps: this is the masochist in me.
Secrets are probably best of all.