Carmela: deeper then denial.

I re-watched the episode and this is more $.02 from me.

I was wondering why since the 4th season, Carm is becoming more intolerant. It?s not because of how Tony treats her. The problem is within herself. The complaint about Tony?s behavior is an excuse for her own feelings of insecurity.

She was envious of Meadow last season and possibly, just possibly, could be envious of Tony. Tony is the boss running the business & does what he wants but is in control of both families. Carm is slowly losing control. She wants to evolve, to something that she
cannot define. Remember the dinner scene, 4th season, with Meadow?s college friends and when she tried to be the book critic and the tea scene when Meadow reminded her of her college career or lack of. Also, she attempted to get into real estate, but that seemed to fizzle out.

Now, she's like a teenager searching for self with these new exploits to get into to, without any regard to the consequences. And by consequences, I mean
hurt feelings, damaged emotions and the self-awareness that she is forced to look at.

When she lived with Tony, there was the money, house and gifts that she was used to. She had a good family and Tony's companionship, even though they fought like cat & dog. There was organization in her life.

The point here is that she is Carmela and she knew about Tony's life when they got married. And she accepted that, both on a conscience and unconscious level. Now she wants to leave that life because she is angry, not with Tony, but with herself on an unconscious level. She is denying the fact that she is very unsatisfied with herself.

Old Maid


Re: Carmela and Reciprocity in Relationships

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>This is total and utter crap. <hr></blockquote>

Thank you, weneedmorecowbell, for that diplomatic expression of disagreement.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>Every woman, no matter what her station in life, knows that you do not ask a man for 'favors' when you are about to get naked, naked, engaging in foreplay or in flagrante delicato. Nor do you ask immediately afterward. If there is anyway a sexual position is involved you do not ask the man for any exchange of goods, money or actions unless you are a whore.<hr></blockquote>

I guess I missed this lesson in the "How Not to Be Considered a Whore Handbook" (though I've been very successful at not being considered a whore).

Back on point, you are mischaracterizing what she did. In their very first scene together in Wegler's office, after Wegler went on about the crisis AJ was in and how something had to be done, she asked if Wegler "or one of the other teachers" could talk to Fisk and tell him how hard AJ was trying. This was in a meeting HE called before the audience was even aware that Wegler had asked her out offscreen and before she accepted.

Of course I'm sure this modest request will be labeled as "manipulative" by some because . . . well . . . she asked for something, and apparently some folks equate the two. Some folks apparently also have never heard of mothers who always want to believe the best about their kids and go to bat for them even when the kids don?t deserve it. Nor is there any such thing as free will or the autonomy to say "no", even though Wegler did just that.

But she NEVER ASKED him to do anything else until after their last encounter, after Carm learned that he'd gone to Fisk on his own. Obviously delighted by his willingness to help with Fisk, she was asking if he'd help with Union College, too.

Was Carm being opportunistic? Absolutely. Oblivious to ?normal? sensibilities about the propriety of constantly talking about your kid in bed? Probably, judging by how many viewers found it a turnoff. Manipulative? No way. Actually the distilled essence of my disagreement with you and others on the nature of what she did lies in the difference between ?opportunism? and ?manipulation?. It?s a distinction that seems obvious and significant to me.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>I don't know about your relationships, but I don't go into a love relationship looking for what the other person can do for me. I certainly don't think that is the basis of a healthy relationship. Certainly there are those that do. They are called hos. <hr></blockquote>

Again, Carmela didn?t ?go in? looking for Wegler to help AJ. But more important to me than correcting the facts of their encounters is challenging the naive idealism behind your view of relationships, particularly romantic relationships.

Very little in the course of human affairs is built more solidly, if subtly, around notions of sales, bargaining, and exchange of consideration than ?romance?. Of course centuries of idealizing literature and culture and comforting self-deception actually obscure that fact to most people in our ?progressive?, modern society. But anchoring that big flowering tree of romance and matrimony, with all its pretty blossoms symbolized in things like golden bands and ??til death do us part? and ?for better or worse?, are the roots and trunk of simple commerce.

Not very long ago in our Western civilization, and to this day in others, this wasn?t a shameful truth. Daughters, even adult daughters, were essentially the property of their fathers, who implemented the concept of dowry to attract prospective husbands. When the price was right, i.e., when the families involved were satisfied with the mutual advantages to be gained from a certain union, the marriage was arranged.

That spirit of purchase and property still permeates nearly every engagement and wedding ceremony held in this country today. The groom makes his public down payment, his earnest money deposit, by buying an engagement ring, which the bride then shows off like a veritable ?sold? sign in public celebration and proclamation of the fact that she?s found a buyer. The father of the bride (still viewed as the trustee of his daughter?s pu$$y, the one whose approval for marriage should be sought by the groom) enters the church with his daughter on his arm while the groom waits inside. The long father/bride procession reinforces the fact that a delivery of chattel, of pu$$y, is taking place from one man to another. When they reach the groom, the minister asks, ?Who gives this woman to be married? (notice no one asks who gives the GROOM to be married because he?s the purchaser, not the property itself). The father answers ?I do? (although modern conventions sometimes have him generously offering that ?her mother and I do?). With that, the symbolic purchase continues as the father places the hand of the bride in the hand of the groom, kisses her, and departs the scene, his trusteeship fulfilled as the pu$$y, fully matured and ripe for poking and childbirth, is now the property of the groom.

Too cynical for you? The prevailing vestiges of truth in these romanticized rituals too ugly to confront? Try the following.

Ever notice that the most sought-after and valued women, romantically/sexually speaking, are those adjudged to be good-looking? Ever notice that the most sought-after and valued men are rich and powerful? Ever notice that the pride one person experiences in the mate they?ve been able to snare is (especially initially) directly related to the degree that that mate possesses qualities which are valued by others?

It?s this simple: A person's romantic conquests are viewed as evidence of their own social worth, so much of the game of dating and looking for a ?partner? is about shopping around for that person who can offer the best deal at social image enhancement, the best ratio of their demand to your own adjudged market value. Women typically shop with the currency of their appearance while men typically shop with the currency of money, power, and/or fame.

If 5?4?, homely Billy Joel weren?t a world-renowned and very rich rock musician, he would never have gotten supermodel Christie Brinkley to look twice at him. If some old prune like Clint Eastwood were a retired factory worker instead of a rich and powerful Hollywood actor/director, he?d never have landed a gorgeous trophy wife 36 years his junior. Ditto for Michael Douglas. It?s no coincidence that as black males started to dominate professional sports 35 years ago and earn tons of money and fame, they kick-started the first movement in interracial coupling by dating and marrying good-looking blondes (caucasian beauty being most valued) in droves as conspicuous evidence of their male prepotency (wealth), despite the fact that their white conquests would have laughed or glared at such pursuits if the men making them were black janitors or bus drivers.

The vocabulary that surrounds the game of romance similarly reverberates with the overtones of social value, exchange, and bargaining: ?she wound up settling for him?; ?she?s out of your league, man?; ?he went slumming when he found her?; ?you should take some time, shop around a little?; "she could really do better"; ?you better snag him while you can; a bird in the hand?. Or, as Tony so eloquently put it to Chris, ?You scored so far above your head . . . . She?s a 10. You?re average, at best.?

Even these nauseating ?Bachelor? type reality shows, which I?ve never watched a second of but have regretfully learned about from the conversations of others, are nothing but a relative unmasking of the very truths laid out above. Their immense popularity and the fervor with which some people watch and invest in the results only confirm the implicitly commercial basis of romantic partnering.

Lest I sound too cynical, let me add that I do think most unions, and certainly those that survive any length of time, manage eventually to be about much more than this. But rarely is a relationship even started except when certain minimum standards of image reinforcement/enhancement are met. So I contend that virtually ANYONE who has dated or married has done so because they were trying to ?get? at least this much from the other person.

On a less abstract level, and in all relationships, there is also a ?give and a take?, as Tony put it to Bobby Bacala, or a quid pro quo, as discussed in this thread. With most people, it?s thankfully not a terribly conscious or precisely measured process. But it?s there, and when the inequities in give and take become substantial, the relationship falters. Resentment creeps in. Hostility forms.

I see nothing wrong with this nor do I see how anyone can deny its truth. The simple fact is that when someone does something nice for you, it inspires (in most people) the desire to reciprocate. A friend takes you to lunch and pays the check, you say, ?Next time it?s on me.? An acquaintance gets you a Christmas gift for the first time and you feel awkward that you didn?t get anything for them. So you make up for it the next year. A cousin always invites you to picnics or cookouts or social gatherings so you reciprocate by inviting them to your cookouts and parties. A husband buys his wife a beautiful necklace, and the wife plants a sexy kiss squarely on him, prompting jocular but true quips by others that, ?I know someone?s gonna get laid tonight.?

Carmela?s biggest mistake, apparently, was being honest about this aspect of human relations.


Re: Carmela and Reciprocity in Relationships

Fly, not uncharacteristically, I agree with your above statement. I wish that I had the energy at this late hour to invest as much passion in this Carm thread as you...but I do not. Rather, I am compelled to add an overlay to my past post, "I am in denial of Carmela's denial." Essentially, from my impressions, and from Carmela's behavior, I continue to maintain that Carmela's is not a deceitful nature. Again, it is my opinion that she erred more in the area of propriety and social/sexual convention (i.e. that old etiquette protocol of "don't ask your guidance counselor for special favors while in the afterglow of amour"). Clinically speaking, perennially exploitive types do not register the kind of shock/hurt we saw in Carmela's response to Wegler's "using your pu$$y" allegation. Her visage was a genuine reflection of a horrendous sting or kick in the gut. Furthermore, characterological "users" when confronted, typically react with a knowing sort of "you got me" look...then move on to hatch yet another exploitative devise. I repeat: Carmela's reaction to Wegler's accusations were authentic expressions of incredulity. Furthermore, exploiters do not experience /demonstrate the kind of grief reaction we saw in Carmela when she lay prostrate in bed...disclosing her loss to her father. Again, this was a genuine emotional expression of bereavement.

Now, for a case study in a personality organization constructed around exploitation, dishonesty, and lack of shame, we may turn our collective attentions to the personality structure of Janice. Therein lie the twins demons of the antisocial coupled with borderline. But, this discussion is for a later thread. Please note: I am not bashing Janice; she is colorful...merely trying to draw clinical distinction between an erring innocent (Carm) and a truly pathological (lying, cheating, exploiting) typology (Janice).

</p>Edited by: <A HREF= ... vingEgo</A> at: 4/15/04 12:31 am

wegler and carmela/ abelard and heloise

I think Wegler was aroused -in part- by the dangerous aspects of Carmela's life, in addition to being attracted to her as a woman.
He's certainly romanticized her, attempting repeatedly to ascribe a level of insight and self-awareness to her that she doesn't possess. She was at least honest enough about her response to Madame Bovary.

I do believe she's doing what she can in her own desperate way to be a good mother.I don't think she consciously set out to manipulate Wegler. He certainly brought his own agenda and fantasy scenario to the situation. And, if anything, as far as the running theme that the women in the show are held to higher standards of morality and behavior, to me, Wegler was more of a user, or "predator", than Carm. He was at least as much , if not more, of an opportunist than she, in that he's aware- or ought to be- that she's in a vulnerable conflicted position regarding what's best for her son, And I think he used it to his advantage.



I agree with Old Maid: "The problem is within herself. The complaint about Tony?s behavior is an excuse for her own feelings of insecurity."

Everyone has been focused on Tony's mid-life crisis (Chris even mentioned it during the confrontation about Ade).
This season, it's Carmela who's having one.


Wegler's behavior...Box of candy

Yes, Egon01, I agree. Earlier I made note that Carmela was not psychologically equipped to deal with the likes of Wegler. As you posit, his organization suggests the structure of the avoidant who seeks intimacy, but when attained, cannot endure it. Or, the type who is attracted to the "dangerous experience," as opposed to the woman herself. Lastly, he may, as some speculate, be conflicted about his own orientation, therefore, finds reasons to reject a relationship with any woman.

I continue to wonder about the box of candy (in gold box) by bed, noticed by Carm. She made reference to the fact that this is Patty D'Amico's catering trademark, and was, she assumed, a favor from the faculty luncheon. But, was this assumption naive? Is it more likely evidence that Patty had recently preceded Carm in Wegler's bed? It rather reminded me again of the parallels between Father Intentola and Wegler, in that they both emotionally seduce needful women, but more for the gratification of their own narcissistic needs.

Bottomline: It was indeed Wegler who was the aggressing strategist in this ill-fated union...

</p>Edited by: <A HREF= ... vingEgo</A> at: 4/15/04 3:58 pm

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