One of my funniest days of the year

By Albana M. Lifschin

Christmas time is the most wonderful time of the year; – this is what everybody says, but I would like to make a little addition to this definition: Christmas time is also the funniest time of the year. If you question it, I will prove it to you. Listen to my story.

Here I am at Macy’s trying to buy a present for my mother-in-law, 95-year-old. Well, I know that she is one size smaller than me.

So, I take these two outfits in my hands and try to decide which one to choose for her. They are a jacket, a nice one, size small and a sweater, size medium. I find myself puzzled: Which one should fit her? What if I buy both and let her choose?

Maybe this would be a good idea.

While I was about to get to the register, my cell phone rang. It was a wrong number, but it reminded me that I have the cell with me and I called my mother-in-law right away.

I told her that I am at Macy’s and asked her about her size.

“I am large, I guess”, she said softly.


I couldn’t believe it. I thought that she is medium and I blushed realizing that it has been a while since the last time I saw her. She must have gained weight, I thought…

“Anyhow, mom, I will stop by, now, and we will see. If the sweater is tight on you I will return it.” I said, hoping that she would be wrong.

I walked to her apartment. In the development we live in, there are two-family apartments, same shape, same doors, windows… They all look the same.

As I was getting close to her apartment, on East 58th Street, I figured I better give her a call first to let her know I was two minutes away. It takes a couple of seconds for a 95- year-old to get to the door. But, when I arrived, I noticed that the door wasn’t opened as I was expecting, so I rang the bell. I waited for three minutes before I started to get worried. God forbid, anything could happen. She might have fallen on her way to the door. I took out my cell phone and called her again.

“Mom, are you Ok?”

“Were you just at my door?” She asked to my surprise.

“Mom, I am still here, outside, in front of your apartment.”

“I opened the door, but you were not there”, she said.

“What is she talking about?” I said to myself. Is she expecting to see me between the outside and inside door? I felt so bad for her. My husband has told me that recently mother is forgetting a lot. “To this extent?” I asked myself

“Ok, I will open the door for you again”, she said and hung up.

I got really sad and started to think to talk to my husband about her condition. As I was looking around, totally distracted, I saw my mother-in-law waving to me from down the block. She was wearing her house dress.

All of a sudden I realized that I had been standing in front of the wrong door.

I thought I was going to faint from being extremely embarrassed. Thank God, nobody had opened that door, while I persistently kept pressing the doorbell.

I entered her apartment, and it took me two minutes before I was able to talk normally to her, as she was laughing at me. Then, I took the sweater that I had bought for her out of the Macy’s bag, and she liked it instantly. I took a deep breath. Finally something good happened. I followed her to her bedroom where she wanted to try the sweater on in front of the closet mirror.

Unfortunately, the sweater was tight on her.

“Oh, I like it but it is small”, she said disappointed.

“How come it doesn’t fit you? I, myself, wear large and I remember you are one size smaller than me”, I said.

“You wear large? I thought you wear X-large”, she said.

I realized that I had lost a lot of weight recently, and I wasn’t wearing x-large any longer, but I kept thinking the same. She was right for the second time.

“I forget, but not to the point that I don’t remember my size”, she then added smiling: “Anyway, I guess I am getting older. Not old yet, just getting to…”

“Mother, you are right, and I guess I am already old or should I say older than you”.

I left her apartment and went back to Macy’s.

This time I bought the right size for her and a much better sweater, and made her very, very happy.

“What can I say, I really like gifts”, she said looking at herself in the mirror trying on the new beautiful sweater, my Christmas present for her.