Hair Like Meg Ryan

For our date night a while back, my husband and I ordered take-out and watched You’ve Got Mail. This was no Netflix and chill, though. Instead, we kicked it old school and watched the DVD I’ve had since I was in high school.

My grandmother was a fan of romantic comedies, so I watched a lot of those since I lived with her. She was a Meg Ryan super fan (until The Affair with Russell Crowe, sigh), and I became one too after watching You’ve Got Mail. As a teen who had recently gotten an Internet connection, I thought it was the most romantic thing ever. A smart guy! Who enjoys books! And can write! Such a guy didn’t exist in my class of 70-odd students (that I was aware of), so that movie gave my love life a little hope.

You know how couples have a song? It might be the first song they ever danced to together or the one they danced to at their wedding. This movie is our equivalent of that. (Well, technically we have a Song, too, and it’s not a Hanson song since my husband put his foot down.)

We went the same route as the characters, meeting online, taking forever to meet, and when we did it was amazeballs (well, it was amazeballs a couple months after we met, when my nervousness wore off and I didn’t treat him like a brother). Our story isn’t quite as interesting, and consists only of a few missed hints and involuntarily dodged kisses — no business war and all that — but otherwise IT’S EXACTLY THE SAME.

We were getting sappy and stuff while watching the movie, reciting lines here and there, like it was of Star Wars or Shakespeare importance, when it dawned on me that there was something about me that my husband didn’t know about me. Once you’ve been married to someone for 10 years, finding something new to share from one’s past is pretty major. It’s almost on the level of giving diamonds. Almost.

“Oh my god, that haircut!” I commented. “I loved that haircut when I was in high school. I had it for the better part of two years. But it never worked out for me.”

This is it, in case you haven’t watched You’ve Got Mail or just don’t remember:

Alternatively, you can look at the haircut here, if the doodle isn’t doing it for you.

Between my lack of being able to blow my wavy (but not curly, dammit) hair straight, it not being the right haircut for my face, and the crappy stylist whose cuts rarely resembled the picture given, the haircut didn’t work for me. It didn’t work the first time I was a sophomore in high school, or the second time adding blonde highlights, or even the 89th time, when I was a senior in high school, and I’d highlighted my hair so much that it was nearly straight up blonde. (This is when I realized I should just let it grow out and go back to my natural color.)

The idea of having Meg Ryan’s haircut was amusing to my husband.

“She wasn’t in her 40s at the time,” I said, defending my style choice for god knows what reason. “Probably like her 30s. Or mid-30s.”

“That’s really not better. You were 15!” he exclaimed.

“Almost 16, though. And it was a cute haircut! Just not on me. Which may be why I didn’t date more in high school.”

“Aw, I’m sure it wasn’t that bad,” he said. “Just pretty bad.”

(And if you think admitting you wanted the haircut of an older woman was bad, try admitting that you had a crush on Tom Hanks when you were 15…or 33, for that matter. Sigh.)

I didn’t show him my picture in the yearbook from that haircut — the one where I was wearing a plain white t-shirt for, again, god knows what reason. Add in being sweaty as hell because it was early September in SC, plus that haircut, and you’ve got loads of awfulness.

See? All the awfulness.

My sharing the haircut story pretty much ruined You’ve Got Mail from a romantic standpoint. The idea of wanting to look like a middle age woman in my teens kind of overshadows the whole “how we met” thing. That opens the door for making a Hanson song Our Song, though, so there’s that.

Have you ever aspired to look much older than you actually were, or otherwise have any interesting Bad Haircut stories to share?

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