I can handle small doses of horror in book form (not movies), but what I really can’t stomach is romance. Take that as a disclaimer. I avoid romance and romance blend genres, including Fantasy-Romance, as much as possible, so I haven’t read the books that contain the concept that I feel like griping about today. And I may need to insert some Sci-Fi-slash-Urban Fantasy Technobabble just to get through this post.
Here’s my Logic:Fail. Character A (let’s say this character is male*) is immortal and has lived a comparatively long time (say a few hundred years (although nobody beats Methos from Highlander at 5000 years)). Character B (female, love interest) is fifteen or sixteen. Not fifty. Not fifteen hundred. Fifteen. A teenager. Yes, like the ones hanging around at the mall. I get that the 200-year-old man is still hunky and feels like he’s young still and all that, but, seriously? I have tried to imagine the most mature, intelligent, capable, driven, and inspirational young teenage women I have known or read about in such a situation (even thinking of someone like Anne Frank or Mary Shelley); I have pondered how desperately and embarrassingly my girlfriends and I, as teenagers, tried to get the attention of boys just a little bit older than us, let alone the crushes we had on some of our much older male teachers and other role models.
Just what could a 200-year-old man possibly fall in love with in a fifteen year old girl? A being who has two centuries’ worth of experience of the world/galaxy/multiverse; of lives that have come and gone; of technologies and world-powers and wars and treaties and opinions and philosophies changing and changing. (Of mitochondria, midochloria, and FTL hyperdrive, of dilithium, gravimetric field displacement, and warp core reactors.) I’m just too cynical to see any innocence in such a “romance”. But I do understand exactly why the story is lapped up by teenagers who daydream about running away with their gorgeous English teacher. But, kids, when you get a little older and wiser and start really thinking about this concept: cue the ew.
(* There seem to be remarkably few 500-year-old women seeking romantic liaisons with a willing Adonis these days, but that’s almost another post.)
Image: Full Moon © Peter Neal, 2006.