"The character of the fair Jewess found so much favour in the eyes of some fair readers, that the writer was censured, because, when arranging the fates of the characters of the drama, he had not assigned the hand of Wilfred to Rebecca, rather than the less interesting Rowena."
— Sir Walter Scott in his 1830 Introduction to Ivanhoe
Eliza looked up from her hot butterscotch ice-cream shortcake. "I don't see why he had to marry that old Rowena," she said. "Rebecca was lots prettier. Why couldn't he have married her?"
"That wasn't what the author wrote," said Roger, a bit shocked.
— Knight's Castle by Edward Eager, also discussing Ivanhoe
"Clark's shouting his lungs out. 'You killed her! Why did you kill her!' ...Jor-El says, 'Aw, shucks, son. I'm the only one who realizes that getting married at 18 is a bad idea. Besides, she was mean to you on a constant basis for saving her life. Go, my son, go, and be with Chloe! She will maketh your bowtie twirl!'"
Kissing may be revolting to children, but the shippy gene kicks in a lot earlier than the rest of puberty. Kids like to pair characters up. I remember watching many a 'toon where the lead male and the lead female got along well, and wondering when they would get together. A lot of kids assumed Rebecca and Baloo were eventually going to fall for each other, and were let down when TaleSpin ended before that. I waited a long time for Alvin the Chipmunk to fall for Brittany (I'm still waiting on that one).