MacGyver has Ruined Me for the Average American Male
By Kathleen Davis
Can you make a bomb from spit and a potato peel? Fix a car with spit
and the wrapper off a piece of chewing gum? Repair torn relationships
with spit and sensibility? If your answer to these is "no,"
thou art no MacGyver, my friend, and I have no plans to date you.
I fell in love with MacGyver when he premiered in the mid-'80s, just
as my sense of puberty was starting to rapidly rise and my sense of
reality was starting to rapidly fall. At that point, I really believed
that men existed like MacGyver, as, of course, my eighth-grade English
teacher was always telling me a writer "writes what she knows."
So, surely, then, someone knew a MacGyver. They were friends with a
MacGyver, lovers with a MacGyver (that last thought always made me tingly
in all the right naughty places).
But, alas, being almost 32, at this point reality has returned full-force.
I know that no one actually knows a MacGyver, that MacGyver just doesn't
exist, my friends. He's as fantasy-laden and unreachable as those distant
moons of Star Wars or those magical realms of Tolkien.
Still, the years of TV lessons persist, and I cling to some of those
ideas in my subconscious -- unknowingly salivating like Pavlov's puppies
when even the semblance of MacGyverisms rise to a male's surface.
But, in the end, it is always revealed to be just that: a surface layer,
a hard skin with nothing but slippery, slimy pudding underneath. A girl
should be careful not to break the surface.
Hmmm. Maybe THAT'S how all those other girls do it. They keep to the
surface layer -- skating on just the bare minimum. I don't know.
What I do know are the following three lessons (learned through heartache)
about trying to make a strong and sexy personality equally attune to
1.) Just because MacGyver can be sensitive to women and still kick
ass and take names does not mean Joe, the guy you picked up at the
local bar, is the same just because he's crying in his beer over his
last "bitch" leaving him and then gets up to start a drunken
2.) Just because MacGyver can get any damsel in distress out of
any situation with a coat hanger and a crooked smile at no charge
doesn't mean the guy at the body shop with the same smile isn't going
to try and pull one over on you because you're a chick and he doesn't
think you'll know that your car doesn't even have a timing belt. And,
maybe, just maybe, he can take you for a small fortune and still get
3.) Just because MacGyver's passion and charm can turn any evil
female into a good girl at heart doesn't mean a girl can do the same
for the next asshole that tries to pick her up with Joey's "How
YOU doin'?" out back of the Quick Trip one pathetic and angry
Now, I know that most men will read this with anger and say to themselves,
"That girl is just picking the wrong guy. I'm educated like MacGyver.
She's just going for the assholes. She has issues."
Oh, sweetie, don't get your panties all in a bunch. I've tried your
kind, too. Here are my lessons from attempting to find sensitive-guy
1.) Just because MacGyver can get out of a dangerous situation sans
weapons with just his big, ol' brain, doesn't mean you will ever get
your sensitive man's ass off the couch to go outside and find some
damn danger -- even if NOVA is a rerun and he doesn't happen
to have the Discovery Channel. The only surfing that boy is gonna
do will involve the World Wide Web.
2.) Just because MacGyver can "connect" with wayward,
runaway children and defenseless animals doesn't mean it isn't rather
creepy in real life when your boyfriend has a high school groupie
girl contingency that he doesn't find at all inappropriate.
3.) Just because MacGyver can think through a situation and find
both (a.) its historical context, and (b.) its philosophical component,
while (c.) applying it to his current dilemma, don't expect your sensitive
man to be anything but freakin' peeved if you question the factual
accuracy of his "stories" in public or one-up him at Trivial
See, the problem is in the melding, the combination, the welding of
sexy go-getter and sensitive smart guy. It's the fiery solder of the
two that I find the most incredibly attractive about Mac -- to this day.
And, unfortunately, it seems that particular part of the story is where
the largest chasm of fiction lies -- not in building a bomb from spit
and potatoes, but from building a man with both intellect and spine.
Reruns of MacGyver on TV Land should really come with this
MacGyver is a fictional character. Any resemblance to a real man, living
or dead, is purely coincidental, and all in your head, honey. Ain't
no man on Earth actually like MacGyver. He is the untouchable male ideal
that every woman drools over, searches for, and then finally gives up
on to settle for someone who doesn't annoy the shit out of her too damn
often. We apologize if this character gives you false hope about your
love life and its potential future. Forgive us.
And, lastly, if your husband/boyfriend/lover IS actually just like
MacGyver, please don't tell me. I don't need to spend the next few months
curled up in a fetal position in my shower again. It was too damn hard
the first time I had Mac withdrawl. Just keep your little impossible
dream-come-true to yourself and leave me with my righteous anger, damn
Curse you, Henry Winkler and your damn '80s creation of perfection.