I have many regrets. Currently, my biggest regret is that I did not take a picture of Cybil before she got her hair cut. Alas, this cannot be done, and you will just have to trust me when I say she once resembled a dog. Now, with her body shaved like a rat, her tail a pompom, and her head a teased-out poof-ball of ’80s rock star proportions, she most closely resembles Napoleon Dynamite’s drawing of a liger, only with pink bows attached to her head. Just the promise of seeing her R.O.U.S.-like weirdness again was enough to get me to bolt out of bed this morning.
So I’ve been watching The Tudors lately, and all this historically inaccurate bodice-heaving has stirred up a memory from junior high, long suppressed (as all memories from those years should be). In seventh or eighth grade, I dressed up as Anne Boleyn for “hero day.” Although I have always had a fascination with Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn has never been my hero. Either I desperately wanted to spend the day walking around with a fake head (taken from my “two-headed girl” Halloween costume, which is also disturbing and politically incorrect), or I wanted to impress a teacher.
My first question is this: what teacher — when did we ever learn about Anne Boleyn? History classes, no matter what grade we were in, were devoted solely to American history from 1776 to 1865. Those years were drilled into our heads relentlessly, year after year (yet I bet the only thing most of us remember from our history classes — or possibly all of junior high — was the jelly donut story). Other countries were not part of our history lessons, unless they were enemies or allies of the ‘mericans. Anyway, even if I did dress up to impress a teacher, my next question is pretty obvious: what did that teacher think of me? “Oh look, there goes Rachel. Her hero is Anne Boleyn, the woman who probably slept her way to the top and definitely changed the religious history of England forever. And then she was beheaded. That is what Rachel wants to be when she grows up.” My plan to impress just made everyone uncomfortable instead. For a “smart” girl, I am pretty damn stupid sometimes.