If I Ruled the World

Queen Me for a Day

If I Ruled the World

Ah, if I ruled the world and could be Queen … just like on that popular TV show of decades ago, Queen for a Day. I’d right some wrongs, enforce some rules, and, maybe settle a petty score or two! I mean what’s power if you can’t abuse it just a teensy bit, all the while wearing a tiara and robe, parked on a royal throne?

Do you remember the show? If you’re a woman of a certain age, I bet you do. “Would YOU like to be Queen for a day?” host Jack Bailey asked the mostly female audience at the start of each episode.

Next, a group of contestants would be trotted out on stage to detail heartbreaking recent financial and emotional hardships, describing how they would use their show winnings. Their needs were never frivolous, always important, often urgent – to provide critical medical equipment for a sick child, pay the mortgage or buy a washing machine to make laundry day easier with a household of seven children. Finally, that day’s Queen would be selected based on how much sympathy her plight generated on the audience applause meter.

Queen for a Day applause meter

One critic of the time described the show as “tasteless, demeaning to women, demeaning to anyone who watched it, cheap, insulting and utterly degrading to the human spirit.”

Queen Me for a Day

As a child watching the show, I thought the program was cringe-worthy. Now, however, as a middle-aged muddler, being Queen for a Day (minus the humiliation factor) sounds appealing.

When I was young and idealistic, I dream of changing the world. Now that I’m older I realize “saving the world” is not in my power. Even making small changes in my life is frustratingly difficult. Many days I feel downright powerless as I look at the struggles of the people I care about. Change the world? Heck! Some days I can’t even change Handsome Hubby’s mind about which movie to see!

So, the thought of being all-powerful with is attractive. I’d right a few wrongs and win a few domestic squabbles without the bother of sensitive discussion and fair-minded compromise.

If I Ruled the World

And so, if magically  I was anointed queen – even for just one day, here are nine edicts I would proclaim as law throughout the land:

Edict Number 1

My children would say “Thank you for trying. You didn’t always get it right, but I know you always tried. Now that I’m an adult, I see you did get it right an awful lot of the time.”

Edict Number 2

Men would still open the door for me when my arms are full of packages, just as they did when I was young. AND they would also hold it open for other men with arms full of packages. Yes, if I ruled the land, common courtesy and civility would be the norm.

Edict Number 3

I would never again encounter a moment like this one that happened just last month:

Each week I tutor at a local elementary school in a reading program. While reading a biography about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we got to the part about Dr. King’s fight against segregation. If I ruled the world, I would never see an African-American child have to confront the words “White Only” in a book or the prejudice that underlies those words that still exists in too many places. My six-year-old friend looked at me and said, “You’re white.” And in that moment, I watched helplessly as he weighed what to think about me and probably all white people.

Yes, if I ruled the world, I would wipe away prejudice, past and present. I’d make it so that sweet little boy would never have to decide if I or any other person was good or bad based on the color of their skin. Even more, I pray no police officer will ever make a split-second decision about this same boy based on the color of his skin.

Edict Number 4

If I was queen, supermarkets would never have lines with more than two people ahead of me, and those two people would ALWAYS have only five items each. They would ALWAYS have their payment out and also, ALWAYS bag their own groceries quickly and quietly.

I was always impatient, but now that I’m older I just go berserk at signs of inefficiency. I don’t have that much time left on earth to have it wasted waiting on lines!

Edict Number 5

If I ruled the world, middle-aged women would always wake up feeling cute with their hair looking perfect. As a bonus, finding comfortable cute shoes won’t constitute a miracle, but be just a matter-of-fact occurrence when out shopping!

Edicts Numbers 6, 7, and 8

Doctors would apologize for running 95 minutes behind schedule. I wouldn’t get heartburn when eating my spicy foods. AND I could lose two pounds in two days after pigging out on chocolate cake – “just like in the old days.”

Edict Number 9

I would remember never to use the expression “in the old days,” especially in front of my children!

👑 That’s it. My nine edicts. 👑

Ah, yes. If even one of any of these wishes came to pass, I would truly feel like a Queen for a Day. No audience applause needed. No Pomp and Circumstance played. No crown, velvet robe nor long-stemmed red roses conferred.

Well, on second thought, the roses and the robe might be nice.

Your Queen-in-waiting


Queen for a Day Trivia

  • The program debuted on the Mutual Radio Network in 1945 and ran until 1957.
  • It aired on NBC Television from 1956-1960 and then on ABC from 1960-1960.
  • At the height of its popularity, the program’s 30-minute air time was increased to 45 minutes. This was done to provide more slots for commercials which sold for a then high rate of $4,000/minute! (Compare that to the average cost of a 30-second ad at last year’s Super Bowl $5.2 million!)
  • Versions of the show ran until 2004.
  • And in case you’re interested, here’s a look back at Queen for a Day
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