Aunt Chelsea, April 3, 2013
Dear Aunt Chelsea,
I have a problem. I trust you’ve seen Olivia Newton John’s infamous “Physical” video (ya’ know, the one with the spandex). Well imagine if Miss Newton John did that video today, in all her aging splendor. Now I want you to picture said video taking place in my apartment building staircase. Who wants to hear “Physical! Physical! I wanna get physical!” at 5am? Who wants to see a little old bitty jazz-handing her way up the stairs? I’ll tell ya’ Aunt Chelsea, I have half a mind to push her down said stairs. What should I do?
Thinking of Getting Physical
Of course you should push her down the stairs. Then get some aerobic exercise of your own by administering a few good, swift kicks to her midsection. But why stop there? Why not reach into her fanny pack and do a jaunty staircase fan dance with her AARP, NYPL and Medicaid cards? It’ll certainly send a message to the other seniors in your building as to what awaits those who disturb your peace by daring to be active and vital. As for neighbors of the younger generation (whom I’m told appreciate irony), they’ll be wearing a daylong smirk upon realizing that this valuable lesson about keeping quiet is being loudly administered by the “victim” of an inconsiderate noisemaker. Good luck, honey — and if you take my advice, don’t bother calling. Old Aunt Chelsea will be too busy going through the rigors of her Angela Lansbury VHS workout tape to visit the 10th Precinct and post bail for your sorry, bitter behind.
Dear Aunt Chelsea,
As the weather warms up, I feel the need to put away my winter gear — the heavy coat, the snow boots (but namely, the Christmas tree). Growing up, my dad always said that by New Year’s, Santa had overstayed his welcome. So I’m ready (and have been since January) to ditch ye old evergreen and make room for spring.
There’s only one problem. My roommate and his girlfriend made this giant cardboard Christmas tree that is STILL UP. I’m pretty sure he’s tired of it too…but his girlfriend gets all teary-eyed if we so much as bump it on our way out the door. Do I tactfully breach the subject with her, leave it to my roommate to handle or have the holiday monstrosity mysteriously disappear while she’s at work?
Your letter arrived from a Chelsea zip code, not the Bermuda Triangle or the Twilight Zone — so I doubt your roommate’s tearful, tree-clingy gal pal will believe that her beloved Tannenbaum went the way of Judge Crater and Amelia Earhart. No, she’s going to demand an explanation — and she deserves one…just as you deserve to experience the joys of spring outside the confines of Christmas Village. Tell her in no uncertain terms that the tree simply has to go. If pressed, you’re well within your rights to point out that as a non-rent-paying guest of the apartment, she has no say in the matter. Then present her with a cardboard box containing her cardboard tree, and suggest she take it back to her own abode (where it can be displayed until December, when it’s welcome back at your place for a strictly limited engagement).