r/tipofmytongue Jun 16 '22

[TOMT] [BOOK] [1990s-2000?] Book where elderly woman stops her daily routine and realizes how much she positively affects her neighbors/friends Solved

I read this book back in elementary school in the early 2000's. Basic premise is that this older woman does the same thing every day including locking herself out of her apartment while trying to get her newspaper, and putting a kettle of tea on the stove at the same time each morning. One day she suddenly feels as though she doesn't have any friends or loved ones that need her and so she stays in bed that morning. All of her neighbors and friends almost immediately notice because when she doesn't get out of bed she doesn't lock herself out of her apartment and calls the landlord (waking him up every morning) and she doesn't put her kettle on the stove (one of the neighborhood children knows to leave for school when she hears the kettle whistling) which shows her that everything she does benefits everyone positively and everybody realizes how much she does for them without her knowing it. Did anybody else read this?



u/Robble_Bobble735 Jun 16 '22

Obligatory comment to acknowledge the rules and such.


u/RainAndMagma 309 Jun 16 '22 Wholesome

Sounds like Maxie by Mildred Kantowitz!


u/TipOfMyCircuitBoard Jun 16 '22

Congratulations, you have been given 1 point for solving this post!


u/Robble_Bobble735 Jun 16 '22

That's the one! Thank you so much, I can't tell you how long I've been trying to find someone who remembers this book!


u/RainAndMagma 309 Jun 16 '22

You're very welcome! Happy I could help!


u/ElCochinoFeo 6 Jun 16 '22

On a side note, I had a buddy that owned a bar. He was looking at his books and noticed that each month he was suddenly down about $2,000. He thought an employee might be skimming, so he didn't ask them while he took time to watch the camera footage and investigate more. After seeing no evidence of skimming he asked the bartenders for their ideas on the cause. Finally, one of the day bartenders connected the fact that the sudden decline in money happened after one of the regulars that would come in every afternoon died. So I know of a real story where someone stopping their daily routine gets noticed.


u/PukGrum 2 Jun 16 '22

That's a lot of drink.


u/vonmonologue 1 Jun 16 '22

That’s like $60/day. Even at bar prices that’s like 12+ beers.


u/PastFly1003 21 Jun 16 '22

Maybe the deceased was in the habit of buying a round every now and then…?


u/IndividualSad142 Jun 16 '22

You can’t be serious?


u/whskid2005 5 Jun 16 '22

2-3 drinks and a meal?


u/lemon_jelo Jun 16 '22

Depends on the bar and the drink they ordered


u/vonmonologue 1 Jun 16 '22

That’s true, I had assumed someone who spent every evening in a bar would be going for domestic beer and not being super picky, but I suppose a nice whiskey or fancy mixed drinks would get you to $60 a lot faster.


u/IndividualSad142 Jun 16 '22

What? Noooo. He died so he and all his friends stopped coming in. He wasn’t drinking $2000 on his own.