“Your Majesty” wouldn’t be good enough for me as a title, not if I were the queen of the world. I’d have to come up with something new, something more impressive, something that hadn’t been used already for mere queens of countries or empires. “Most Supreme Awesomeness,” maybe. I’d figure it out. I’d figure it out just as soon as I figured out what it meant to be the queen of the entire world and what good it would ever do me.
The first thing I think, when I think of great fame, is the burden. In fact, I think along these lines every time I see a picture of Kate Middleton. Bless her heart. Lovely as a flower. She always seems to be perfectly dressed, but then she’d have to be, wouldn’t she? A duchess! She’s even expected to look perfect mere hours after giving birth. Every single thing she does, says, or wears is a headline. Walking perfection every minute, or else. Does she ever get any time to herself? Can she have any secrets? Does she have a confidante whom she can trust absolutely? I don’t know much about her, but I do know she doesn’t get to go to the convenience store in pajama bottoms and Ugg boots.
Not that I do, either, but it’s nice to know I have that freedom.
I have some major advantages. An ordinary life is one of those secret blessings that people don’t appreciate until something changes. I have something that no amount of money can buy, something that every celebrity would envy: total obscurity. That means privacy. There are no photographers following me around. Nobody puts me in a headline. Nobody comes up asking me for selfies or autographs. If I want to read a book, I sit down and read it, because that’s what you can do when the world isn’t knocking on your door. For what it’s worth, I’m certainly the queen of my own world.
The fantasy seems to be one of adulation. Awash in compliments. People waiting on you hand and foot, bringing you things, trying harder if the first attempt didn’t impress you. Nobody contradicts you - nobody dares! Total leisure and indolence, nothing but sleeping on satin sheets, lolling about in a bubble bath, trying on flattering outfits and indulging in elaborate beauty rituals. Oh, yes, youth and beauty, with an edge of power and fierce intelligence. Queen of the world, that’s not nearly the same as princess of the world, is it? ‘Princess’ implies sweet innocence. The queen of the world would have to be on the razor’s edge of villainy, am I right? The femininity seems to drain out of this image of female power, because what makes us feminine is our yielding, nurturing, patience, and putting others first.
Oh, no no no! That’s not right at all. As queen of the world, all I would want is to be universally beloved, my populace entranced with how incredible I am. I would rule with a wave and a smile, like Glinda the Good Witch. There would be no critics and no skeptics! I would never have to resolve global issues like political conflict, natural disasters, or epidemics. Easy and perfect, all the praise and none of the effort or responsibility.
Hmm, no, that’s not right either.
It’s just not for me. As it turns out, wearing heavy stuff on my head gives me migraine. There isn’t a crown or diadem or tiara in the world that I could wear for long.
I wouldn’t want to be queen of the world. So many reasons! Constantly surrounded by a security detail, never able to go anywhere alone, never being able to relax my guard and just be myself. If I had the hiccups everyone would hear about it. On stage all the time. Expected to make appearances and give my blessing to this and that, even if I’d never heard of it the day before. It’s too much of a price to pay for the fantasy of never being criticized or contradicted, never having a naysayer or a frenemy. Actually I think that the queen of the world would have almost entirely frenemies.
The life of obscurity is the life for me. It’s the life of freedom. Accepting that only a handful of people in the world will be my true friends is plenty. As long as there’s one! Better a faithful friend to one than some kind of celebrity idol to a million.
Any power that I have comes from a few predictable sources. Power in my physical form, a power that I can feel as I move my limbs. Power in living my values and knowing I am consistent in myself. Power in my love and friendship. Power in keeping my word. Power in knowledge. Power in being debt-free and beholden to no one. Power in financial security. Power in my abilities, the skills I continue to learn. Power in my sphere of influence, which expands as I build my reputation and add to my contributions.
I have power when I speak for what is right. I have power when I can stand up for someone else. I have power when I put effort toward causes that are important to me. I have power when I keep someone’s secret, when I demonstrate that I am trustworthy and reliable. I have the ultimate power of loving words and deeds. With this power, I can transform my personal environment, and this can ripple outward and affect those around me.
I can’t be the queen of the world, nor would I want to be. I can be the queen of my own world, though. I can be the queen of one man’s world, my husband’s. If I am to wear this crown, may I be wise and merciful, benevolent and splendid. And may I retain my awe-inspiring obscurity.
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.