THIS POST IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY TOBI.
SWEET WILLIAMS FLOWERS ARE AT THE CENTER OF MANY ROMANTIC LEGENDS.
One such legend is steeped in the poetry of the English writer John Gay, who wrote, “Sweet William’s Farewell to Black-ey’d Susan: A Ballad.” In this piece of poetry, both the sweet William and the black-eyed Susan were depicted as real people – Sweet William as a sailor and the black-eyed Susan as his beloved, who must part from him. The story tells of the two meeting, then having to separate again – sweet William assuring his love and fidelity all the while. Sweet Williams flowers are one of the few blossoms that have symbols that most people associate with masculinity – their predominant symbol being that of gallantry. However, they also represent finesse and perfection and are frequently presented to the recipient as a way to tell him or her that the giver feels they are either quite smooth or simply as good as it gets. They also express the sentiment, “grant me a single smile,” and are sometimes given as gifts solely to make the recipient’s day. Sweet Williams flowers (yes, the flowers from this shoot are in fact, Sweet Williams!) have always reminded me of my grandparents. And the way they came together is not only over-the-top romantic, but fitting on a day like today... Memorial Day.
For those who do not know, I am half-Polish... given my dominant Eastern European last name (father's side). I feel like I need to inject this in now before I get going, you'll understand in a bit. My grandparents met like any typical teenagers do – amongst mutual friends. You see, my grandmother was dating a good friend of my grandfather's, but this quickly changed after they met. But wait, it doesn't end there. Before they could even begin courting each other, my grandfather was deployed to Paris during WWII. He served in the US Army Air Forces as a corporal lieutenant. Back then there was no texting, Facetime or social media. Even a long-distance phone call was pretty scarce. So, to remain in touch with my grandmother, my grandfather wrote her hand-written letters almost every day. Their correspondence to one another is what made them fall madly in love with each other.
At some point, the distance between them became too great. My grandmother could hardly stand it any longer and made her way to Paris to be with him. When they came back to the states not too long after that, they married. They had five children and were together for nearly 45 years. Sure they fought just like any couple, but they sure were crazy about each other. I feel like you don't hear that many legendary love stories anymore. Actually, the whole idea of dating in this day and age is rather frightening to me. While at an event this past week I struck a conversation with a woman who just moved to New York City a few months ago, and after a heart-wrenching breakup with her ex, she opted for Tinder, one of those dating apps, even though now there's so many of them for many different types of relationships, to sexual encounters, FWB, and yes, even 'real' relationships. And though Tinder is known for casual hookups, she ended up being in a relationship with the guy and is quite happy, it seems.
Is it like that for everyone? Definitely not. I was watching a documentary series late one night due to insomnia (over-working, stress & anxiety will do that to you) about the digital world and relationships. 1 out of 4 people who are in dating apps have trouble finding meaningful relationships due to 'too many options' out there. You have more and more women (and men) who are not willing to settle down and getting married. Younger women are more driven and independent than they've ever been. You have men who are literally sleeping with anything that has a pulse because they were the geek back in high school and now that they're all grown up with a successful job, it's payback time. For example, on the documentary series, there's a Las Vegas event planner who's basically in his forties and organizes pool parties for a living. He is single and thoroughly enjoys it being this way.
Was he the geek back in high school? No, but he was the 'nice guy', you know, the guy who wasn't necessarily a stud, but was nice enough to be your friend? Yeah, that guy. And then he went on to appear on a big reality show. After that, the nice guy was history. Women started throwing themselves at him all because he had been on TV (that and being mildly attractive probably didn't hurt) and a dickhead bachelor was born. But what makes this guy not the nice guy anymore is the way he treats the women he 'dates'. He will take a girl out a couple of times, sleep with her and then disappear. It is one thing to set clear intentions/boundaries, but what he did was misleading. He'd get them to believe they were something more than just a few dates, by taking the time to say and do all the right things men are supposed to do while courting a woman. And once he had them hooked, with a potential feeling of a 'maybe', he'd ghost them.
He even went as far as pretending like he didn't know a girl he was sleeping with for a few months. When she had tried to make contact with him after he ghosted her (meaning never responds to any messages) he replied with a, "who is this?" Luckily, the girl laid it on to him thick and told him how cowardly and hurtful his actions have been, going even as far as refusing to leave him alone until she met him face to face (this I would not make the time for), to express herself... and rightfully so! I find that the more options that are being provided within the digital world have caused people to act more selfishly than ever before. And romance? Forget about it, I feel like most of it is all for show. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of wonderful, good, decent men (yes, I've met some of them!) but in the new times we live in, and with endless choices when it comes to sex and relationships, I'm definitely missing the simplicity of authentic love amongst one another. Can't we write more hand-written notes anymore? If you're not feeling someone, can't you just be honest with them and give them that respect, especially when you know they'd do that for you? Since when did hurting others become a trend?
Now if you're not looking for anything serious and just want to have fun, that's completely okay. Just don't take advantage of people, being a jerk is never cool. How can someone like that guy look at himself in the mirror every morning? Thankfully after that girl confronted him, it made him think and change his ways. (Hopefully, because whatever is said on camera isn't necessarily done off-camera) With intention, this post will potentially give those some hope, that the real thing still does exists because I do continue to see it every day among others and through myself. And knowing you have a conscious – that you could never stoop to that kind of slimy low-level like that Vegas guy says something about you already, that you're better than that and because of it, you will go on to find better too. Never stop believing in love, my friends. Happy Memorial Day. xo.