It seems to be the most popular trend since Ugg boots and those ugly bohemian skirts that, for some reason, everyone insists are cool. Dating someone who is old enough to give birth to you is the hottest thing since adopting children from Cambodia and giving them mohawks.

Just take a look at celebrities. Tom Cruise was already a colossal pop culture icon when little Katie Holmes started climbing into James Van Der Beek’s bed on a show called “Dawson’s Creek.” Who would have thought that today Katie would be carrying the couch-jumping freak’s baby and debating whether or not to have a Scientological silent birth or, as I like to call it, the only way to make natural childbirth even worse. The Donald and his new wife, Melania Knauss – who is approximately 12 years old – will be expecting their first child in the summer. Of course, we must credit Demi Moore for finding herself a boy toy in the delightful delinquet-like Ashton Kutcher. Demi not only found her soul mate, but a big brother for her three daughters as well.

I never really thought it was possible to like someone who was at least 20-something years older than you. I mean, sure I find George Clooney ridiculously attractive, but I figure I only have a 30 percent chance of hooking up with him, so I don’t really think about it.

A boy five years older would be great. Even 10 years older would be OK, but I don’t think it would be possible for me to have a romantic relationship with someone who was alive at a time when MTV actually only played music videos.

This, of course, all changed the day I walked into my first class of the semester. I became completely mesmerized by one of my professors, who is at least 20 years older than me. He does not look like George Clooney. He does not even look like Harrison Ford, and yet he had me at “OK – I think we should start now.”

Smoke literally comes off the page because I am writing so fast in the hopes that maybe he will notice this immense devotion.

I saw him in the hallway the other day and literally stopped dead in my tracks just to smile at him, which I am sure looked really cool. I have not actually spoken to him yet, but when I do I know it is going to be good.

Is it because he is my professor and instilling precious wisdom on my malleable mind that I find him so irrestible? Or is it because I am aware of his age and know he has wordly experience, which beats a guy who has a six-pack any day?

Whatever it is, I have completely succumbed to his wily charms, and I know I will never be the same. Of course, I am sure that the relationship will never be more than student-teacher – he is constantly speaking of his adoration for his wife – which only makes him more attractive.

What I have is a classic case of the schoolgirl crush. Eliza Doolittle had one for Henry Higgins, Corey had one for Mr. Pheeney and I am sure someone even thought Prof. John Nash was considered cute by some Princeton co-eds when he wasn’t talking to imaginary little girls and college roommates. My plight has actually helped me do better in the class. I find myself studying extremely hard, not to enhance my GPA, but more to avoid looking stupid in front of him.

Lepore can be reached at

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