It's easy to forget that not everyone learns the same things. For example, some of us learned to tie our shoes using the bunny ears method, and this was fine. Some of us learned using bizarre tree metaphors. Although this appears strange to the bunny-ears alumni, we accept one another regardless. We're all walking around with dry feet, so what does it really matter anyway.
Likewise, I often find myself forgetting that the history I learned in school is completely at odds with everything my English friends were raised on. England’s history is swathed in velvet and trimmed with fur, Ireland’s, meanwhile, hinges on desperation and slow progression. If Ireland's history was to be summarised into one book, that book would be called 'A Bunch of Completely Unfair Things That Really Happened (and the bastards that did it)'. If the same book existed for England, it would be called 'Major Triumphs! (minor defeats).
As a result, I often get the impression that, to a lot of English people, Irish history is just "that skermish up North that you'd really want to get over already". The hundreds of years of struggle that preceded that, which is somewhat fresher in the minds of the Irish, are somewhat of a footnote in their curriculum.
Chris is an excellent example of this, an academic error I've repeatedly tried to undo since deciding that having an English boyfriend was a good idea. I started with Michael Collins. He was suspicious from the outset.
"It looks... dry."
"It's not dry! It's just like Taken. You love Taken. Except in this one, Liam Neeson is the terrorist."
We started watching it, and aside from being distracted by "Why is Snape in this?", it looks like he's getting into it. Until the Black and Tans roll into Croke Park in a tank, and start firing into the crowd. Chris is aghast.
"Is this movie a true story?"
"Yes. That's why we're watching it."
"Why are they killing those spectators? IN A TANK?"
Things begin to click into place for Chris after The Tank Incident. His faith in Britain as a country that just goes around telling other countries how to use their cutlery properly has been negated. Suddenly, our relationship is being referred to as ‘star-crossed’, and his inaugural visit to Cork – planned for later this summer – is being treated with a degree of apprehension. “But what if everyone hates me and thinks I’ll drive a tank into their sporting event?”