Thank you for asking your readers to send you their favorite columns. Among my most precious remembrances is the definition of "Class." I sent the original to my late mother-in-law. She was getting on in years, and wondered why she was still on this earth. I told her it was because God had so few examples of class that he needed all the ones that were still around. My copy is tattered from constant use, and I hope you will print it again.
-- Collingswood, N.J.
Class never runs scared. It is surefooted and confident and it can handle whatever comes along.
Class has a sense of humor. It knows that a good laugh is the best lubricant for oiling the machinery of human relations.
Class never makes excuses. It takes its lumps and learns from past mistakes.
Class knows good manners are nothing more than a series of petty sacrifices.
Class bespeaks an aristocracy unrelated to ancestors or money. A blue blood can be totally without class while the son of a Welsh miner may ooze class from every pore.
Class can "walk with kings and keep its virtue and talk with crowds and keep the common touch." Everyone is comfortable with the person who has class because he is comfortable with himself.
This column has been in my scrapbook since the 1970s. I was strengthened by looking at it again, and came to realize that my latest relationship was not the true love either of us were seeking. I miss him, but I know I made the right decision. Thanks for your wisdom.
-- E.M., Albuquerque
LOVE OR INFATUATION?
Infatuation is instant desire. It is one set of glands calling to another. Love is friendship that has caught fire. It takes root and grows -- one day at a time.
Infatuation is marked by a feeling of insecurity. You are excited and eager but not genuinely happy. There are nagging doubts, unanswered questions, little bits and pieces about your beloved that you would just as soon not examine too closely. It might spoil the dream.
Love is quiet understanding and the mature acceptance of imperfection. It is real. It gives you strength and grows beyond you -- to bolster your beloved. You are warmed by his presence, even when he is away. Miles do not separate you. You want him nearer. But near or far, you know he is yours and you can wait.
Infatuation says, "We must get married right away. I can't risk losing him." Love says, "Be patient. Don't panic. Plan your future with confidence."
Infatuation has an element of sexual excitement. If you are honest, you will admit it is difficult to be in one another's company unless you are sure it will end in intimacy. Love is the maturation of friendship. You must be friends before you can be lovers.
Infatuation lacks confidence. When he's away, you wonder if he's cheating. Sometimes you check.
Love means trust. You are calm, secure and unthreatened. He feels that trust, and it makes him even more trustworthy.
Infatuation might lead you to do things you'll regret later, but love never will.
Love is an upper. It makes you look up. It makes you think up. It makes you a better person than you were before.
(C) 1999, Creators Syndicate Inc.
To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.