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How I Fell in Love with Hawkeye
Oh Captain, My Captain
Believe it or not, I got into M*A*S*H all by myself. Granted, I got into the re-runs as the show had already been off the air by the time I started watching TV, but the point is, I needed no encouragement or push from my parents or anyone else. I simply got into M*A*S*H because I thought it was probably the best thing I had ever seen on television. And yes... a lot of that had to do with Hawkeye. Not Alan Alda. Hawkeye.
Now don't get me wrong, I like Alan Alda. He's a great actor, and without him, there would be no TV Hawkeye like I know him, but I want to be clear on something. When I say it had to do with Hawkeye, it had to do with Hawkeye. Not Alan Alda. Not an actor. But this character... this man that Alda helped to create.
I started watching M*A*S*H in middle school, at a time when I had few friends, a world of insecurities, and a few terrible haircuts. It was also a time when I was really interested in boys. But as fun as the boys at school were, they weren't MEN, and my expectations for men had gone up... because of Hawkeye.
The thing about Hawkeye is this: he has insecurities too. But he is strong willed, believes in saving lives (whether they be friend or foe), and he's funny. His journey taught me valuable life lessons and as it did, I felt a deep connection to him. I kinda fell in love with him. I thought he was the hottest guy around (really, I did) and I was always very excited to see Hawkeye on TV every day.
I would imagine me, being the one woman who could steal Hawkeye's heart forever. And it was a lovely fantasy because Hawkeye... is a bit of a bad boy. He disobeys orders, he gets around with the nurses, he drinks, gambles, makes dirty jokes and witty comments, and he ruffles feathers. And it's wonderful to imagine being with a guy like that who only has eyes for me.
Of course, as I got older, I dated, I had fun and I stopped comparing everyone to Hawkeye. But if I'm being completely honest... sometimes I still just wish he was real, because Hawkeye just may be my perfect man.