Vanushka, or Why I Might Have to Visit Guatemala with a Can of Paint

Thanks, Miss November.

My dear friend, who recently went on a “vacation” to Guatemala that sounds only slightly better than camping (shudder), came back with a special present for me. In addition to some yummy coffee and a cool scarf, Miss November also made a wish on some dead lady’s tomb that I would find love. She made this wish in Spanish, so I’m kind of hoping that some hot Guatemalan shows up on my doorstep. I’m not totally sure that’s how it works, but a girl can dream, right? Here’s the story, according to Miss November:

“The legend of Vanushka is that she was part of a group of Gypsies living in Xela (Quetzaltenango) in the 1920’s. Obviously, they were ostracized, as Gypsies typically are. She did, however, manage to capture the heart of one of the beloved son of one of Xela’s elite families. This boy’s parents were not happy. To put it mildly. They sent him to Spain in order to separate the two. Poor Vanushka (this was not her real name, it was just what the guatemaltecos called her) was absolutely heartsick. She waited for him to come back to her, even when her fellow gypsies moved on. She stayed behind, without family or friends, hoping. Eventually she married, but she never loved her husband. Life became unbearable, so she killed herself. The legend is that she died of a broken heart, which is true enough. Now, what makes her story memorable is that her grave was always adorned with fresh red roses. It is believed that the man she loved did come back, and he carried the burden of her death. He brought roses to her grave until he died. After that, citizens of Xela began bringing roses to and asking her for help with their love lives, almost like a saint. The people whose prayers were answered would paint her grave. And that’s how it goes today. People write their requests on her tomb, and if they’re granted they promise to bring roses or to paint the tomb.

Hope you have your paint brush ready.”

Wow. And I thought I had some crappy dating stories. Those Guatemalan Gypsies are hard-core.

So Miss November took it upon herself to make a request on my behalf upon arriving at Vanushka’s tomb. I even have a picture of this, but I can’t share it here because it has my real name on it. But this is what she wrote:

“Te pido que mi amiga Miss July encuentra amor.”

So, if I find true love, now I will have to go back to Guatemala, can of paint (might be hard to get through airport security these days) or roses in hand, to thank her for my good fortune. Considering Miss November herself said Guatemala is a little too primitive for me, I’m not entirely sure if she made this wish out of total generosity or a strange desire to see me suffer through third world plumbing and swinging bridges instead of roads. But I’m going to assume she really wants me to be happy, and hope that Vanushka forgives if I mail her some roses rather than deliver them myself. Although, I am pretty sure since Miss November made the request, that means she’s responsible for thanking Vanushka properly if the wish comes true, so I’m probably in the clear on this one.

I’ll keep you guys posted about the hot Guatemalan.

3 thoughts on “Vanushka, or Why I Might Have to Visit Guatemala with a Can of Paint

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