No she doesn’t bring home the bacon. And that kind of bothers her. But she does fry it up in the pan. Carmela Soprano takes her responsibilities as a mother seriously. Very seriously. You don’t mess with A.J. and Meadow. Unh uh. There’s just about nothing she wouldn’t do for them.

And she’s a good wife too. Sometimes–after a few drinks, and a slow dance or two, with nostalgia coursing through her veins–she can still make her husband feel like a real man…And a normal human being. That says a lot, considering who her husband is.

Carmela hates what Tony does for a living. She tries not to think about it, but it’s hard. Exercise helps. Her stomach is as flat as a school girl’s. Flatter than her daughter’s.

It also helps to shop. Carmela has a lot of buying power even though sometimes Tony gets a stick up his…well, you know…and pulls her purse strings too tight. She hates it when he does that. She’ll only put up with so much before she puts her foot down. Two can play at that game.

Another thing she really hates: Tony’s serial cheating. It takes a toll on her. She gets depressed about it, even drinks too much sometimes because of it–and that’s not like her at all. If Tony doesn’t watch out he might just drive her into the arms of another man. Men find her very attractive in a classy kind of way. Sometimes the way her priest looks at her, she could swear…

Speaking of her priest, Carmela would have left Tony a long time ago if not for the church. She takes her vows very seriously. There’s almost nothing she wouldn’t do for her parish. She’s only too happy to entertain in her home–church or otherwise. And why not? They certainly have room for it.

She even makes all the side dishes when Tony has his big barbecues. Talk about work. You try cooking for that bunch.

Everybody gets treated the same way too, from the gardener to Tony’s crew, to the alderman, to her next door neighbors, the Cusamano’s. She doesn’t play the snob game. Her best friend, Rosalie, never attended day one of college and it shows. Still, she can take Ro just about anywhere without feeling the slightest bit ashamed.

Friendship is important. And Carm’s a good friend. Nobody knows how hard it is to be married to someone like Tony unless you’re married to someone like Tony. That’s why she and the other guy’s wives are so close. She’s even close to Ginny Sacrimoni and Ginny is…Ahem…morbidly obese. Even so, when Ginny was having a run of bad luck, Carm didn’t hesitate to come right over with her brand new Porsche Cayenne–to cheer her up, of course.

But back to Tony and the church…She honestly fears for her husband’s soul. That’s another reason she sticks with him. She’s his conscience, the only real spiritual influence he has. If not for her, he would drown in debauchery.

And here’s the main thing: She just doesn’t have the heart to take A.J. and Meadow away from their dad. Meadow and Tony have always been so close. And A.J. is a boy. Boys need their fathers.

Tony is a good dad. He really loves his kids.

…And he doesn’t put up with A.J. back talking her for one minute.