Those Cool, Older Girls Need Friends Too

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about those “cool older girls” we all look up to/are terrified of in middle and high school. We all have them. When I was an eight-year-old at summer camp, these were the girls with hair down to there, big boobs, and a confidence that said they owned the place. In middle
and high school, they were the girls who were effortlessly flirty and comfortable around boys. They were, across the board, older, cooler, and kind of scary.

So it’s bizarre when you wake up one day as an adult and realize, suddenly, that you’re all just people.

I got an email the other day from a woman a couple of years younger than me with whom I went to middle school. She was so nice, saying she read MWF Seeking BFF and loved it, and admitted that, apparently, I was that older girl to her. I was shocked, as this is the first I’ve heard of anyone at all thinking I was intimidating or someone to look up to.

She went on to say that she wished she could travel back in time and tell her 11-year-old self that I would one day be looking for friends. Ha!

Yesterday I connected with another girl from my elementary school days, who told me she recently ended up at a birthday party with the older girls we were totally scared of once upon a time. “It was intimidating, still, but then made me realize we’re all in the same boat now that we’ve grown up.”

Friendship can be funny that way. As age gaps become less significant and the social hierarchy of high school fades, suddenly we realize we’re all just people, looking for companionship. We’re allowed to approach the older, super cool girls we once felt unworthy of talking to.

This actually happened to me recently– I talked to one of the summer camp girls I looked up to when we ran into each other at the airport. It was a perfectly adult, nice conversation.

And then I called Sara, squealing into the phone that “I talked to our 1992 captain!!!”

It’s hard to mature.

Know what I’m talking about? Did you have those cool older girls you looked up to as a kid? Ever reconnect with one as an adult and realize she’s just another person looking for friends?

3 Comments

Filed under The Search

3 responses to “Those Cool, Older Girls Need Friends Too

  1. Laurie Lee

    I’ve reconnected with many from High School via Facebook which has generated several informal reunions, and some people I’ve gotten together with in small groups or 1 on 1. I graduated from High School in 1980.

    One of the 1st things I noticed is that age creates a level playing field and the cliques are gone. Most feel a nostalgic tie with classmates, even those they didn’t know well, and everyone desires contact and interaction.

  2. Ann

    In 2006 at a camp reunion in New York City, I walked up to a girl who had been the captain of my color war team in 1992 and told her I wasn’t sure if she remembered me, but my 11-year-old self thought her 15-year-old self was pretty much the coolest girl ever. We spent the rest of the night chatting and ended up becoming great friends. She’s still the hilarious and fun girl I admired, but she’s also a wise, calm and insightful friend. I think of our friendship as an old one, even though it’s not. She gives me hope that every longtime acquaintance could be a great new/old friend in disguise.

  3. Emily

    Same goes for younger, less cool kids! I’ve met a few who have turned out way more fun/interesting/friend-able than anticipated.

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