I took a walk with my cousin late at night when all the guests were gone. He needed a female perspective on the new terrain. "Why does she think she's fat?" he asked, baffled. "I keep telling her to eat. She's literally half my size."
I explained that all teenage girls think they're fat and called his attention to the world of stick-figure billboards his girlfriend lives in. "I know," he said. "But literally no guys I know like that." (He currently enjoys the word 'literally'.)
Then, he told me she recently demanded he admit that she is not the hottest girl in the world, or even at their high school. He refused to agree so she tortured him for hours, promising she wouldn't be mad, offering up names and evidence that other girls outrank her. Finally he caved and named someone just to end the misery. She smiled and said, "See? That was easy enough and it's fine!"
"Oh no," I groaned when he told me this. "That is definitely going to come back to bite you. Soon, and hard. Don't ever fall for that again. It's a trap."
"I couldn't help it, " he said. "I literally can never win when we fight."
At least he realizes that. A lovestruck teenage boy is just no match for the emotional complexities of a teenage girl. I wish so much that I could stop that girl from wanting to be prettier or thinner. One day she'll look back and know how perfect she was. Well, at least when the red braces come off.