If you’ve ever been around me you might notice that I’m freakishly paranoid of doing things the wrong way or, worse yet, the not American way.
So you might ask me to pour you a glass of milk and I’ll ask you which cup? How much? Is this the right way to hold the milk jug?
And there’s a reason for all of this insecurity. This dreadful fear that I am doing everything, and I mean everything wrong. This paralyzing paranoia.
That reason is that in high school I found out that I didn’t know the correct version of Patty Cake. I knew the wrong version.
Let me introduce you to the wrong way to sing Patty Cake:
Patty cake, patty cake
Roll’em up, roll’em up
Throw it in the pan
Bake me a cake
As fast as you can
You can’t catch me
I’m the Gingerbread Man!
I would love to highlight the point where my version goes horribly wrong, but I’ll be honest… I have no clue where that point is.
I had read the correct version in elementary school in nursery rhyme books, but I rationalized that it must have been, like, the olde English version. Or something. It simply never occurred to me that my parents were pathological liars.
That’s right. I went there.
It must have been pretty traumatic when I discovered that I sang Patty Cake wrong because I can’t recall how it went down. I do, however, remember confronting my dad with the news.
Me: Gingerbread Man is NOT in Patty Cake.
Dad: I know.
Dad: It had a nice ring, and your mom liked it.
Yes, my entire childhood was a lie and I live in fear of finding out I’m doing more things wrong.
I can’t bring myself to teach Otis the right way. Because our way really does have a pretty nice ring.