Once upon a time, an orchid was rescued from a big box store. She was lovingly placed on the edge of a tub in front of a glass block window. Before being placed, she noticed an artificial orchid was whisked away. Real is always better than fake, she mused to only herself. Every week she welcomed the ice cubes placed at her base. Slowly they melted and trickled down to feed her roots. Life was good until . . .
Orchid 2 showed up. It shocked orchid 1! For a while they stood side by side, but one day they were each assigned a corner. Both lunged for the light, but they stole glances to the opposite corner occasionally conversing. One day someone eavesdropped on their conversation.
Orchid 1: I don’t know why you are here. I was doing a perfectly fine job of being the center of attention in this room.
Orchid 2: Really, a fine job? I hear you were dropping blossoms left and right. Your days were numbered, so they brought in someone fresh, full of blossoms to fill the void that you were leaving.
Orchid 1: Obviously, you are wrong. Have you not noticed that my current flowers are gorgeous, full of color, not pale and pasty white like you? I even have a couple of buds, just waiting for the right time to pop open.
Orchid 2: Excuse me, I am not pasty white! I believe alabaster or eggshell or vanilla are better words to describe my color. If you bothered to look closely, you would see vivid colors at the center. stripes of magenta and a pool of soft yellow that builds in intensity.
Orchid 1: Blah, blah, blah! I still I win on the color front. My petals began as a creamy, dreamy yellow, but then a rosy blush began at the center and spread to the outed edges. Now –
Orchid 2: So you are embarrassed by your color.
Orchid 1: Definitely not! Before you so rudely interrupted me I was going to say now if you look closely at my center you will see I too have the magenta stripes. However, I have orange where you have yellow, brighter is better. You did hear me mention buds, right? There are two rather large buds and one smaller bud What do you have?
Orchid 2: I’m glad you brought up the buds. Actually I have six, although they are still rather small. Give them time, they will grow. Did you happen to notice that I have two stems. You only have one measly stem. So sad.
Orchid 1: Don’t get too carried away by your stems, you know one could be cut off rather easily or maybe something will brush by and break that precious stem in two. By the way, I noticed that two of your blossoms are in their final stage of life. Guess you better get those buds to grow a little quicker.
Stony silence has reigned over the edge of the tub since this conversation. Do you suppose a little competition for best bloom has spurred them to survive longer? I wonder. . .