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Ann Cannon: Edward Cullen's attraction is simply unreal

Dear Edward Cullen,

First, let me say that I've totally got your girl Stephenie Meyer's back. I think it's beyond cool that a gifted Mormon mom (and graduate of my alma mater) has written a series that keeps on rocking the free world. Well done, Stephenie Meyer!

However, there's something I want to bring up with you personally now that one of my sons has expressed an interest in reading TWILIGHT.

Why does he want to read TWILIGHT? Because he's heard all about the ladies and how much they HEART you, Edward Cullen … you and your cold, glittering, glistening skin. My guess is that he's trying to figure out how you do it. He wants your secret.

And therein lies the problem.

Dude! You're not real!

Oh, you make a great romantic lead. Classic, even. No doubt about it. In fact, I'd rank you right up there with Jane Eyre's Rochester and Catherine's Heathcliff and possibly even Elizabeth's Mr. Darcy, who (like you) obviously has excellent personal grooming skills. You're mysterious and aloof, and yet underneath it all? Wowza.

You're just a huge hunky helping of Smolder with some Steamy on the side. Baby, you're a Boy Scout campfire of kindling waiting for the right female to come along and turn you into a big old homecoming bonfire.

Quick! Someone call 911 because honey you. Are. Just. Burning. Down. The. House.

But may I remind you once again that you and your rock hard pecs aren't real? In case you've forgotten, Edward Cullen, you are fantastic (and I mean that in every sense of the word) fiction.

Okay. In Fiction World, it feels good to be loved by someone like you because you're so obsessive. Just like Adrian Monk! Only hotter!

You devour Bella every time you look at her with those gold/topaz/red/black eyes. You even sneak into her room and watch her sleep with those gold/topaz/red/black eyes. No doubt your female readers imagine how thrilling it would be to be the object of that kind of frank, forbidden desire.

Except that in real life that same kind of desire might feel creepy.

In real life you might actually be kind of a stalker. And possibly Bella and her father would consider getting a court order to make you stay away from her, especially if word got out about the vampire stuff.

The female readers who love you are all clear on that front, right? Like, they KNOW that boys are only human. That guy bodies are as imperfect as girl bodies and that bodily perfection isn't the real goal anyway.

That a girl shouldn't have to define herself by her romantic attachments and that a boy shouldn't have to keep rescuing a girl from her own unhappiness?

That both girls AND boys should give each other breathing room so they can spend time with friends. That trading laughs and conversation is ultimately more rewarding than simply trading kisses.

Your readers are REALLY clear on this, right?

They are? Excellent. Then carry on, Edward Cullen.

And we'll see you in our dreams.