Remember when you first brought your baby home from the hospital, where he/she slept peacefully between feedings? And you thought that this baby thing would be a breeze? But suddenly, three hours after you got back, and you were just settling your episiotomy into a nice warm sitz bath, the squalling started? Nothing worked. You tried rocking. Walking back and forth to the light of the moon. The vacuum cleaner. Driving around in the car was effective, but not the perfect solution. If only you had married a pediatrician!

Fast forward a few years. The kids are suddenly very quiet. You go upstairs, where they are sitting in a hushed circle around what remains of a sock monkey. Interrogation reveals nothing. You give up, and on the way back downstairs take a pit stop to pee, and when the toilet flushes, you realize to your horror as the water level creeps upward, upward, and finally overflows, that THIS is what happened to the sock monkey’s head! And you would give anything to have a plumber for a spouse.

Oh, and then there is the harrowing night that you discover a suspicious looking brown spot on your thigh. When you Google it, it seems to be identical to the pictures of melanoma on the “WebMD” site. You panic, scenes of your children crying at your funeral and wearing outfits chosen by your husband to school: striped leggings, a tutu, topped by a Cleveland Browns sweatshirt. And you wish you had married a dermatologist.

Then there is the week after those torrential rains. A cold front comes through the area, and it starts to snow. The gutters, still full of leaves and sticks, haven’t drained properly, and you get what is called “ice damming” up there. So water begins to drip into the master bedroom, turning the new wall to wall carpeting into a cold, soggy mess? You would kill to have a roofer for a husband.

Yesterday, you saw a horrifying documentary about the economy. Bill Moyers and his guests—or maybe it was Morley Safer—were discussing how nothing we own is worth anything these days. The housing market may never rebound. The stock market is so erratic! The one percent seems to have made friends with Mark Zuckerberg while he was still at Harvard, so they all have Facebook stock. You look around at your living room. You had planned to recover the sofa and buy new lamps. But who knows if your nest egg will stretch far enough to cover all the home improvements you need? Will you ever be able to retire? If only you could ask an expert! On days like this, you wish you had married a pundit.

I understand totally. My husband is an accordion player.

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