There's a side to flower delivery that is seldom spoken of in polite society. It is the dark, seedy, under-stamen of an otherwise colorful world filled with natural beauty. On occasion, at an event, more than one flower shop will be commissioned to furnish flowers and that means more than one flower delivery person will show up, often at the same time. Normally, this is uneventful; two delivery persons nod their shared respects and go about their business, but once in a while I run into my arch nemesis, who I will call Lara. She is beautiful, young, and what most people would call a "go-getter" and what's worse is that she always has a comment for me. Once, at a delivery where we both arrived at the same time she told me: "Usually you don't meet people your age who still deliver flowers." Another time, she made the observation: "Wow, you got here and your flowers still look pretty fresh." The final straw came last month we both arrived at the same funeral and she went too far, even by flower person delivery standards. Lara leaned in and whispered in my ear: "That arrangement looks more presentable than you do."
The gloves were now off.
There was a big event in New York last week for a gala. As Lara pointed out on more than one occasion, I am probably a little older than her which I have accepted as being the result of chronological physics. I can't help that, but with age comes wisdom. I had delivered flowers to this event almost every year and I know it's a byzantine complex of corridors and heightened security. If you manage to wind up in the wrong area of this particular building, you will be detained and questioned. They're not kidding around here. I made sure I delivered this arrangement first thing in the morning and confirmed she had not signed in at the front desk yet. On the way through the security labyrinth, I also made sure that all the signs reading "deliveries for such and such event" were placed strategically over the DO NOT EXIT sign on the door. I made my delivery and on my egress from the building I saw my perky nemesis carrying her bouquet of roses. She smiled and said: "Wow, I guess it is true! Age does come before beauty." I nodded and smiled and waited outside for roughly five minutes before I heard the screeching of the security alarm and imagined Lara being escorted to a cramped office to answer questions about her background.
The great flower delivery turf war had begun.