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Confessions of a Closet Cougar

It started in December, when I was innocently watching the Disturbia DVD. The thriller stars Shia LaBeouf, who I vaguely remembered as the skinny, annoying kid in the Disney Channel series "Even Stevens." Only now Shia is 21, lanky, with a bit of a bad boy lope to his walk. About halfway through the movie, I realized I was thinking a little too hard about young, scruffy Shia.

The same age-inappropriate thoughts crossed my mind when I recently saw trailers for Twilight, the new vampire flick starring Robert Pattinson as the dreamy Edward Cullen, a wise old soul in the body of a gorgeous 17-year-old boy. (What more could a woman want?)

Holy Catwoman, I think I'm growing claws.

It's not that I'm mortified that these kids were born when I was in college or that they are better suited for my pre-pubescent daughters. What terrifies me about having weird sad crushes on guys who have just sprouted Adam's Apples is that this officially makes me a dirty old woman. It's sick, creepy. As pitiful as Botox-stiff, overly-gaunt Madonna jumping across cars with Justin Timberlake in the "4 Minutes" video.

It all feels a bit off. I'm 44-years-old. I'm a mom. A happily married woman. I should be daydreaming about Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp, not young men half my age. I don't want to be one of those sorry, middle-aged women who chase their calcium supplements with a tartini and swipe their daughters' Tiger Beat magazines.

Must. Stop. Right. Now.

Here, to get these boys out of my system once and for all, is my top 10 list of cougar bait (feel free to add your own):

1. Shia LaBeouf

2. Robert Pattinson

3. Max Thieriot, who was Nancy Drew's boyfriend in the movie and the hobo boy in Kit Kittredge: An American Girl. (I know, it's sick, sick.)

4. Josh Peck from Nickelodeon's Drake and Josh (Have you seen him since he dropped 100 pounds and played a dope dealer in The Wackness?

5. Zac Efron

6. Michael Phelps

7. Nick Jonas

8. Chris Brown (before he beat up Rihanna)

9. Jesse McCartney

10. Chad Michael Murray