Random Babbling

Don’t Call it a May/December Romance

Can we just talk about this phrase for a minute? I can’t be the only person bothered by it.

It seems to me people used to talk more about May/September romances, but these days, I keep hearing it with “December” in place of “September.” The problem is, December is at THE END of the year. If we’re likening a person’s life to the months of the year, then somebody in December is just this side of kicking the bucket. In romances labeled “May/December”, the older man is usually in his 40s. 50s, at the most. That is NOT the “December” of a person’s life.

Let’s talk numbers.

A quick Google search tells me that the average life expectancy for an American male is 76 years. If we’re going to line that up to a calendar, it means about 6.3 years for each month. So:

January: birth – 6 yrs

February: 6-12 yrs

March: 12-18 yrs

April: 19-25 yrs

May: 25-31 yrs

June: 31-37 yrs

July: 38-44 yrs

August: 44-50 yrs

September: 50-56 yrs

October: 57-63 yrs

November: 63-70 yrs

December: 70-76 yrs

So, a May/December romance would be somebody between the ages of 25 and 31 falling in love with somebody in their seventies. That’s a 40+ year age difference! Now, if that’s what floats your boat, more power to your odd self, but for the most part, I don’t think that’s what people want to read.

I refuse to call any of my books “May/December” romances, because none of my protagonists are 70+. My stories with age gaps (Family Man, Making Waves, Flowers for Him, Chapter 5 and the Axe-Wielding Maniac) are really more like April/July or May/August romances, but I admit, that’s getting nitpicky. For that reason, I have deigned to use the “May/September” designation on my Find a Book by Trope page. But NOT “May/December.”

Because ew. Just…. ew.