Hair Like Meg Ryan

For our date night last week, Sam and I ordered take-out and watched You’ve Got Mail. I feel obligated to say that it wasn’t on Netflix, given my slew (well, two) of Netflix posts last week. Instead, we kicked it old school and watched the DVD I’ve had since I was in high school (yep, sometimes the newfangled digital shit can last, unless Little Man touches it, anyway).

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 superfan (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, so that movie gave my love life a little hope (although working up the nerve to go the online route would come later).

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 our song. (Truth be told, we have a song, too. And it’s not Hanson, because Sam 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, anyway, when my nervousness wore off). Our story isn’t as interesting though, and consists only of a few missed hints and involuntarily dodged kisses — no business war or bailing on meeting or leading someone on while not telling them you’re the online guy they’re infatuated with. 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 Sam didn’t know. Once you’ve been married to someone for 10 years — hell, even 5 — 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.”

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


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 with 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.)


Except for it’d say “Meg Ryyyyyan!”

“You meant you actually wanted the haircut of a woman in her 40s?” Sam asked with a smirk on his face.

“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!”

“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,” Sam said. “Just pretty bad.” I have yet to 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, and you’ve got loads of awfulness.

I also didn’t tell him about how, when I first got the cut, that my English teacher marked me as being absent on the attendance slip that day and had to page the office to have them correct it so I wouldn’t get a detention for skipping when I was eventually (I assume) marked present in another class. That should have deterred me from getting it again, but nope. Awkward teenage years were awkward.

At least I know better now!

Any hair horror stories you’d like to share? Or maybe there was a time when you tried to be an almost middle-aged woman when you were a teen?


45 thoughts on “Hair Like Meg Ryan

  1. I totally love the Kathleen Kelly cut – and still adore that movie (“F-O-X!” and “That caviar is a GARNISH!”). I will never tired of watching it. I think it too set the bar very high for my future online correspondence with potential love interests! Interesting, witty AND can spell? He’s a catch!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve Got Mail has become like an old friend to me, a place to come back to and remember. To this day, if someone gave me a bouquet of sharpened pencils, I’d marry them on the spot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Last year, I really wanted one of those long bobs where the back is a little bit shorter than the front, but not severely. I took a picture in and discussed it with the hairstylist, who seemed to know exactly what I wanted. Sometime between the initial discussion and when she actually started cutting my hair, all of that info seemed to have fallen out of her brain. I left the salon with the hair of (what I called) an “early 2000s pop star.” It was all one length, with ends that flipped out no matter how much I tried to tame them. I almost cried.

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  4. My hair nightmare. I tried to go blond. One day I’m looking at a woman next to me while waiting at a counter and I was thinking how awful, that woman should not be allowed out with that hair. Then I realized I was looking at a mirror. Picked up some brown color on the way home.

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  5. I was 7 and had my hair chopped off like a boy. Or the perm. And not a cute spiral perm but an old lady perm at 6 years old. Or a mullet at 10 (though I pulled that one off like a boss) or all the sad attempts at mall hair and big bangs and wings. My hair is too straight. And the one time I got a spiral perm and it puked out in 6 weeks, again, because my hair is THAT straight. Yeah, plenty of hair fails.

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  6. In the summer of 95, I had an identity crisis of sorts. I ..well, it was a strange time, okay? I had two feet of curls cut off, had highlights put in and it was so new and pretty! (But only for about two weeks.) Turns out when you have a lot of red in your hair, the red wins. Every single time. I took the hair on vacation to pools and oceans, adding a lot of frizz and speeding up the rusty edges. Oh it was awful. So…um, I spent fall of 95 semi-permanent-ing it out and deep conditioning to bed. It would be more than a decade before I would do highlights again. I’ll have to be more than 50% gray before I can be blonde. Or so I’ve been told.

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  7. Hair cuts as a kid are awesome. You ask the barber for something amazing you’ve seen on some football player (that’s soccer to you guys), while out of sight your dad is solemnly shaking his head at the barber and you end up with the same “short back and sides” you’ve been stuck with since you left the crib.


  8. I don’t have any times I tried to be a middle aged woman. I both started teaching and met DW at the same time. That’s about the time I noticed my hair falling out. To this day, I’m sitll not sure which event caused my baldness.


  9. I— like maybe every other 90’s girl?– had the “Rachel” haircut. I think I was in like 8th grade. 😳 It wasn’t a good look on me….curly fro-y hair cut with lots of layers? Ummmm….no! I let it grow out, and have kept my hair one length barely there layers, at the shoulders or longer.


  10. Waaaaaay back in the 80’s I once saved a lot of allowance -$80 – and went to get one of those spiral perms that were all the rage. Unfortunately my hair is poker straight and thick, and was very long at the the time. It completely pulled out the next day. Dammit.


  11. Oh man, and somehow I blocked out trying to go platinum just before I turned 40. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking – maybe that I’d look like a Khaleesi or something. That was horrendous.


  12. My story isn’t really about how I got my hair done and it was messed up but it is about how I went to get it done and was actually basically told not to get it done. I had been used to my hair being long and wanted to try a shoulder length cut and the lady that ran the place said that I wouldn’t like it and that I shouldn’t get it done! Like, way to have faith in your employees! It’s like she didn’t trust them to do a good job! I decided that it was better to go somewhere else where they felt they could cut hair. I got it done and loved it!


  13. My hair is curly and I only learned to appreciate it recently. I am older than you, so my big thing was to try to get my hair to feather like everyone else did. I didn’t usually succeed. Instead, I would have these big curls down the side of my face like the girls in the 1800s. I loved when big hair came in style because I could do big hair!

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  14. My hair horror story is when my mother gave me a perm at home and I was maybe 10? I looked like a poodle 😦 The word perm still gives me the shivers.

    Also, I wanted to add that I love “You’ve Got Mail”, I watch it every year, normally before Christmas. One of my all-time favourite feel-good movies 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. survivingbutterfly says:

    Oh yes! I’ll never forget in middle school having hair like sophia’s from the golden girls. I didn’t mean to look like an old woman, but I did. 😕

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I LOVE you’ve got mail. Have you ever re ad Shop Around the Corner, which is what it’s based on? I havent, but have always meant to …

    And I love Tom Hanks. He and Meg Ryan have awesome chemistry in this movie. I always thought she was pretty, ’til she got all the plastic surgery, that is.

    Liked by 1 person

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