Delivery man's love story with beauty queen captivates hearts

By Hai Hien    January 18, 2024 | 11:50 pm PT
Delivery man's love story with beauty queen captivates hearts
Minh Chuong and Phuong Hien captured in wedding photo session, September 2022. Photo courtesy of Chuong and Hien
Still riding the cresting wave of her fairy-tale love story, Phuong Hien still can’t help grinning ear-to-ear – candle eyes flickering –remembering the first time she met her unlikely, humble husband.

He was delivery man who began dropping off her online orders 4 years ago. First, it was just necessary items 31-year-old Hien needed for her household.

But as an experienced carrier, Chuong noticed that over time, the deliveries appeared to be veering towards the gratuitous:

"There were six orders yesterday, and today there are an additional 30," he once told her with feigned perplexing. "You are truly a shopaholic," he then said with a sly smile.

Hien, an office worker in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Binh District, couldn't refrain from betraying a giggle and slight blush at Chuong’s adorable jokes...

These was the halcyon days of 2019, when the 26-year-old girl stayed up late most nights "hunting for sales," as she puts it, on e-commerce platforms.

As a result, Chuong arrived at her doorstep with hundreds of packages each month, sometimes with a whole sleigh’s worth on a single visit, just like Santa Claus.

Eventually, the consistent exchanges familiarized the two strangers with each other.

Chuong now admits that it was impossible for his natural interest to be piqued "at least somewhat," at least a "little bit" by the pretty young female calling him to her door more and more regularly.

Unfortunately, Hien's mother was often the recipient when the frenzied shopper Hien was at work. Mom occasionally complimented the handsome delivery man on his good looks and helpfulness as he brought heavy boxes to her house and then arranged them carefully.

Eventually, Hien noticed her mother’s unnecessarily friendly words to the kind, intelligent and competent worker who was now somewhat of fixture both outside and inside their home most days of the week.

To find out more about Chuong, Hien visited his Facebook profile. She couldn't help but notice the radiance of his smile. All he and she had ever discussed for the last two years was products and issues related to shipment. But now she wanted to know what was behind bright glow of his face...

In early 2021, Chuong and his customer began connecting on a deeper level when Hien replaced her Facebook profile picture with a self-drawn picture of a character from a video game. Chuong then knew that his loyal customer played the same game he also loved.

So, stepping out on the proverbial limb, he invited her to play their favorite game together...and she accepted.

They had fun as friends-turned-online-gaming-rivals, but the limb that was supporting Chuong sadly broke when, after three or four gaming sessions, he invited Hien out for coffee.

She refused!

Hien now says that she declined partly because she was "shy," but also because as is Vietnamese custom, she wasn’t used to "hanging out" with men younger than her.

"Fair enough," thought Chuong.

But the more the two unlikely friends talked, the more the Saigon girl enjoyed her time with "the guy from Binh Dinh, (a central coastal province)."

Hien said it was Chuong’s sincere and humble way of speaking with her – not "to" her – that won her over. She felt "seen." She even decided to start ordering more items from the shop where Chuong’s deliveries originated.

And then soon enough, Chuong was also upping his own tactics.

He was now confident that the girl who had previously rejected him was signaling that she did now, in fact, actually want to meet.

"Patience had paid off!" he thought.

So Chuong started saving all Hien’s deliveries until the end of office hours on Saturdays and Sundays so that he could arrive when she was free and able to share a bit more time with him before they each continued their separate missions.

She’d either send her mother or simply pretend no one was home, but not before letting out a sneeze or a cough that Chuong the carrier could hear outside.

However, in response, Chuong was also wise and clever with his texts: "I saw you in the house, but you didn't dare to come out and get your stuff."

She then knew he was unafraid of her games, and willing to play along, not unconfident that he might win. Soon enough, the two were exchanging "friendly" texts regularly.

Times change, love doesn’t

Sseemingly out of nowhere, the Covid-19 pandemic abruptly locked-down the city. Now, Chuong was no longer able to make deliveries to Hien’s house directly.

She had to travel to special no-contact drop off locations to pick up the goods herself, without coming into the proximity of other people.

Unable to meet his favorite customer in person anymore, Chuong begged the security guard at her residence to let him drop off his deliveries in front of Hien's house.

Maintaining social distancing, Chuong stopped in front of Hien’s house gate, took a photo of his delivery, and sent a text message: "I delivered your stuff at the entrance."

Chuong and Hien on their wedding day, January 2023. Photo courtesy of Chuong and Hien

Chuong and Hien on their wedding day, January 2023. Photo courtesy of Chuong and Hien

Deprived of human contact for so long, Hien nearly melted when she saw the photo. Then her heart began beating harder than it seemingly ever had.

The couple began exchanging even more frequent texts and phone calls. They discovered that they had a lot in common.

Hien saw that Chuong was not only a university graduate, but very intelligent. He went into deliveries only after his job as an English-tour guide went bust during Covid. However, that didn’t mean he was good at the intricacies of modern "dating."

After three months of correspondence, Chuong visited Hien's house with a full bag of gifts. He had only chosen items that his customers had praised, but most did not suit Hien at all.

"The moment I received the gifts. I felt funny and sad for him because he had been clumsy in selecting and purchasing [irrelevant low-quality] cosmetics...he must have simply sought advice from others without understanding the products' quality."

But even this fateful gaffe became a foible that Hien admired in her admirer.

After the gifts, she realized how attracted she was to Chuong’s adorable honesty. The gifts, no matter what they ever were, truly come from his heart.

And so, when Chuong finally put his heart out on the line again and asked the girl he liked if she would agree to be his official girlfriend...

...she said...:


Hien's parents had previously been acquainted with Chuong only as their delivery man. He was polite delivery man, but only a delivery man nonetheless.

After Hien told her mother that she and the courteous courier had declared their mutual love for one another, the wise woman reminded her daughter – either learnedly, or shrewdly, or both – to think carefully about acting on any emotional decision.

The fact is that when she was younger Hien had been a top contender at Ho Chi Minh City beauty contests. Hien’s mother also reminded her smitten daughter that she was not, and had never been, in lack of desirable gentlemanly callers and suitors.

But without hesitation, Hien reassured her mother that Chuong possessed a genuineness and modesty that she had not found in any of the bachelors that had ever approached her. And it was this quality she had finally realized she was really looking for as the one true trait that could bring her happiness in a life partner.

Chuong began working even harder, striving to be promoted in order to assuage Hien's parents' fears.

Over the next 12 months, Chuong gave it his all to achieved the barely-attainable successful delivery rate of 99% on all orders and was recognized by his company as "The Year's Best Shipper."

Chuong then passed the promotion exam in March 2022, surpassing hundreds of applications and becoming a manager of 20 employees.

Hien's parents gradually opened up to Chuong's efforts as they gained a deeper understanding of his authentic, caring character.

After more than a year of dating, the couple married in January 2023, with the support of both families. When Chuong gave the ring to his wife, he promised he would never stop working hard to ensure his family would always have a fulfilling life.

These days, Hien said Chuong has not changed even a little bit since the time he first fell in love with her: he is still gentle and quiet and has never raised his voice to his wife.

In fact, the only negative, she said, is actually a positive: he doesn’t let her stay up late at night "hunting" for bargains to be shipped to her door.

And she can now admit that she’s already found the best bargain money can buy.

In fact, she knows that Chuong is the best deal life has to offer.

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