Okay, so, Christina highly recommended Incarnate to me, and I read it and liked it... except. Except. The main pairing is between an eighteen-year-old and a five-thousand-year-old, and that Just Happens to Be One of My Squicks.
Oh, it happens a lot. Twilight? Couple-hundred-year-old vampire and high school girl. Diana Wynne Jones' Fire and Hemlock-- I adore Jones, I do, she's one of my favorite authors, but this book I like less than the rest of her work just because of the age-disparate pairing. Bujold is another favorite author who hit this squick solidly with her Sharing Knife fantasy series, featuring a long-lived middle-aged male protagonist and a short-lived teenager female protagonist. (The rationale being that they'd live about the same number of years.)
So here's the thing. I'm thirty-five. I've done all the formal degree-based schooling I'm ever going to do. I have a husband and a child and a career. I know kids in high school, college, kids maybe fifteen years younger than I am. Kids I even have something in common with -- kids who love books, who love to talk to me about them. But we're in such different places in our lives -- I'm focused inward, they're focused outwards. I've become the person I was going to become, for the most part; they are still figuring out who they are. To think about dating one of them is just weird to me. Now multiply that by two, or by ten, or by three hundred. Just freaks me out.
I understand why these romances are so common and why people like them so much, mind. Who wouldn't like a love interest who could help you with anything? Don't we all want someone who's always patient and kind and supportive, like a perfect parent is supposed to be, but as no parent actually is? (I am a parent myself, as I said earlier, and I can tell you right now that I'm not always patient, kind, and supportive. I try to be!) And hot sex, too! But this kind of relationship is not equal.
I can think of one large-age-disparity relationship that didn't make me cringe too badly: A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Laurie King), a sequel to The Beekeeper's Apprentice (read that one first -- that's another one that I can't give spoilers for). That one worked (relatively so) for me because both the older man and the younger girl are depicted as... really weird. Really weird. And so it was believable to me that they got along better with each other than they would with anyone else. And also the female partner does fight for equality with the male partner (although it's still not full).
But anyway. Am I the only one with this squick? Do you have another squick that no one else seems to share?
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