Women Don’t Want Flowers. They Want This Instead
As I typed in Michelline Syjuco in my search engine of choice, her Instagram account dings first on the list.
So I click and begin to scour through her feed, and immediately I notice the many headlines that have been written about her, as well as the numerous events she’s either attended or joined, and of course her beautiful art interspersed with these momentous occasions.
Three thoughts enter my head—1) she’s very pretty, 2) she’s obviously talented beyond belief, and 3) there’s something between numbers 1 and 2 that’s worth exploring. And as she entered her kitchen to greet us that afternoon, I knew it was going to be a pleasant conversation getting there.
Michelline Syjuco is a designer, sculptor, and painter. But before she’s any of those things, she is first a woman, a dreamer, and a romantic. She’s won numerous awards and recognitions, but behind the prestige of her achievements and being part of artworld royalty (the Syjuco dynasty of artists, if you will) lies a girl with stories to tell and fairy tales to paint.
As any interview with artists go, we start with the usual—inspiration behind the work. She tells us of her fascination with fantasy, sword and sorcery, and fairy tales. If you would look at her collection of paintings, one will notice the prominence of roses in her artworks, and when asked about them she lights up with a reminiscent glow of bedtime stories and how this one tale stood out—Briar Rose, or Sleeping Beauty for most of us.
Naturally, our conversation progresses into her ideas of happy-ever-after, Prince Charming, and You’ve Got Mail.
“They don’t make ‘em like they used to.”, Michelline quips as she laughs. She was talking about her favorite movie, the Nora Ephron classic--You’ve Got Mail, as well as her idea of Prince Charming and relationships.
“My role models really are my mom and dad when it comes to love stories and fairy tales. They’ve been together 40 years and they’ve been partners in art, so for me that’s the epitome of dedication to one another, so if there was a happy ending, it would be the two of them.”
So what’s your happy-ever-after? “Happy ever after for me would have to be contentment. Contentment in what you’ve accomplished, contentment in your family life, happiness. Just being happy with what you have done with your life, what you have created, with the legacy you’re leaving behind.”
By your definition, it’s also possible for single women to find this happy ending?
“Of course! Of course! I don’t know if I’m going to end up with a life partner who’s gonna be with me forever so I would like to think that I can have a happy ending by myself. Why not!”
And with that I realized that some women don’t want flowers. They want a whole damn garden. And before men start to whine and women start to play coy, the thing is, it’s really not too much to ask. The thing with that gesture is that while they’re expected to wait around for it, the women who deserve it most build it themselves. And whoever their Prince Charming, he’ll be smart enough to know that you plant the roses as you go along, together—thorns and everything.
So if you’re going on a date anytime soon, perhaps take them to see Michelline’s exhibit of fairy tales and start your garden with a painting or two. Even if you don’t leave with a fine work of art, you would have taken a walk inside the garden the artist has created for herself and leave with renewed hope that anybody can have the happy ending they deserve.
‘Revelation’ is on display at the Galerie Joaquin in 8Rockwell from January 16 to 31, 2018. Photos by Chris Clemente