208 IDEAL HOME LIFE
easy. If she sits in the center of the room, they are sure she cannot see, and if she happens to be by a window, they are afraid the light will hurt her eyes.
There is no place where this is more uncomfortable than at the table. An entire visit is sometimes spoiled for a sensitive guest by having her friends say, from a mistaken kindness, "I am sorry you do not like what we have. Cannot we get you something that you will like better ?" or, "How does it happen that you have no appetite?" in this way calling the attention of the whole family to her, and making her feel that they consider her difficult to please. You can get something different for her the next time, if you choose; but do not let her feel that you are too carefully watching her plate.
Do not make visitors feel obliged to account to you for all their comings and goings, or tire them by constant and obvious efforts to entertain them. Unless they are very stupid people, they will prefer to entertain themselves for a part of the time, even although you make them feel that your time is at their disposal whenever they want it. I heard two friends talking, not long ago, of a place where they were both in the habit of visiting.
"How pleasant it is at Mrs. Chauncey's!" said one. "If you want her to go anywhere with you, she always makes you feel that it is just the place where she wishes to go herself."
"Yes," replied the other, "she never makes a fuss over you, but acts as if you did not cause an extra step to be taken, so that you don't worry all the time for fear you are making trouble; and if you want her advice about anything you are doing, she is always ready to stop her own work and show you just what you want to know, and makes you feel as if she was doing it for her own pleasure instead of yours—so much nicer than the way some people have of acting as though you were a constant interruption."
If any excursion is planned, and for any reason you find that your friend will be really happier to stay at home, do not insist upon her going, or allow the party to be broken up on her account. If she would really enjoy more to have you go without her, do not insist upon remaining with her. A friend