Ask Aunt Chelsea, Jan. 29, 2014


Dear Readers:
Well, the ink on my Airbnb contract is dry —obligating me to vacate my Chelsea apartment, so some lucky stiff from Denver can use these humble digs as a flop house, between all the Big Game activities…so here’s one from the archives to keep you occupied until our February 12 issue (a special Valentine’s Day column).

Dear Aunt Chelsea,
I have a MAJOR problem with my Chinese delivery guy. I know, I know…a girl should avoid the MSG-packed dishes — but sometimes, I just can’t help myself. I have even gone so far as to turn it into a bit of a “treat,” ordering only on Mondays (to get over those start of the workweek blues).

But my delivery guy REFUSES to deliver to my door. Instead, he hangs out downstairs, buzzing and calling me on my cell with unprecedented urgency. Every time I go down (mind you, I live in a five-story walk-up) and give him a nasty look, he mumbles something and takes his money, complaining that I DON’T TIP ENOUGH (sister, I don’t tip if I gotta go down and get it).

I guess my delivery “friend” caught on, because ALL OF A SUDDEN, they do not deliver to my building (and this place is a mere two blocks down the street).

I know I should just find a new place, or just walk over there. But c’mon, Aunt Chelsea. I already put SOOOO many hours in at Chelsea Piers! I DESERVE to get food from THIS particular Chinese joint. I don’t think you realize just how DIVINE their General Tso’s chicken is! Please, help your gal pal out!
Hot for Tso

Dear Hot:
Aunt Chelsea, no stranger to the twin pleasures of scallion pancake and helping her gal pals, has great admiration for the hours you spend exercising at Chelsea Piers.

So why, I wondered upon giving your letter its first glance, would a person so bitterly resent a 10-flight round trip to retrieve their tasty MSG reward? On the letter’s second read, it hit me. Oh, dear. Oh dear, dear, dear. SO MANY CAPITAL WORDS (not to mention the “use of quotes” and the four-letter swear I discreetly removed so as not to offend the delicate sensibilities of my beloved readers).

Hot, you’re clearly a person of great passion and high standards. I like that. I admire that. But stubborn resolve often has a self-defeating downside — and in your case, it’s a liberal interpretation of urban delivery protocol that’s long on righteous anger and short on empathy. So let me play personal trainer and give YOU a helpful little exercise…in “moral fortitude!”

The next time you’re at Chelsea Piers, ride a stationary bike at full speed for 10 minutes and pretend you’re dodging traffic. Then dismount and see how excited you are about running up five flights of stairs to get what may or may not be enough of a tip to cover bus fare home. Don’t forget to stress over the umpteen dozen more deliveries you have to make, the countless hours left on your shift and the threat of a pink slip if the boss hears one more complaint from a physically fit, stairs-averse customer.

It’s no wonder you’ve fallen off your favorite Chinese joint’s radar — and delivery map! At once, you simply must hoof it down the block, seek out that overworked delivery guy and apologize. Blame it on the Monday blues and a chemical imbalance. I’m sure they’ve heard that one before! Then hand over his overdue tips. Harsh words hurt, but money talks (and heals wounds and mends fences).

Go home walking the proud, tall walk of the truly righteous — and the next time you get a craving for the General, you just call up that joint and tell them you’ll happily meet them downstairs to pick up the order. Have a smile and a kind word and a reasonable tip for the delivery guy, and I’m absolutely certain he’ll go from being a “friend” to…a friend! Good luck, honey, and here’s to many more years of peace, love and MSG-infused happiness.

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