A minor treatise on women who lost their personalities in a parking lot somewhere, possibly outside Pottery Barn Kids.

There’s a scourge invading our homeland. No, I’m not talking about Kardashians. It’s worse.

I’m talking about the once-normal women who have morphed into 1-dimensional, perfect little fembots. I call them The Talbots.

These women are well-dressed in completely unobjectional attire. Their highlights are always within the bounds of good taste. Their husbands are well-employed and their children look like something out of a Tommy Hilfiger catalog. The homes? Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware, but of course.

So, that part is annoying. And boring. But the real issue I have with The Talbots? They talk. All the time. About nothing at all.

Small talk is the game and your neighborhood Talbot is the grand champion. She will talk your ear off about what kid is going to what school and did you hear about her friends that you don’t know, well they sold their house, and isn’t it just great? It’s all just great.

Here’s the thing: there are some people who are just superficial, or dead inside, or whatever. And that’s their thing, and it’s cool – although I’ve never met anyone who said, “I’m dead inside and it’s cool.”

No, the rub is that the Talbots I know weren’t always like this. They used to be interesting, engaged, educated women. Now?

Now, I want to stab myself in the eardrum when I see them coming.

Tell me what you’re reading. Tell me a dirty joke. Tell me how the dog had diarrhea and half the family walked through it. Tell me anything that’s real and authentic. But don’t tell me everything is great and perfect and wonderful and also great. I don’t believe you. In fact, I feel sorry for you.

I know it’s easy for women to get lost in the roles of mother and wife. But it seems like some of my peers haven’t so much gotten lost as turned into Stepford succubi completely devoid of personality.

I recognize that we are constantly reinventing ourselves, even when we have no idea what comes next.

But I also know that I miss some women who are here physically but mentally have left the building.

Be ugly. Just be real. And don’t be a Talbot. The world needs you – the real you.

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  • Reply cookingwithgas September 3, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    They run through every generation.
    They might be just as confused as the rest of us, just better dressed.

  • Reply Cha Cha September 4, 2015 at 1:08 am

    Every generation? I don't know whether to be relieved or horrified.

  • Reply Karen (formerly kcinnova) September 4, 2015 at 6:15 am

    Your Talbots are my yoga pants-wearing women — not that I have anything against yoga pants. I happen to wear them to work, disguised as black trousers all winter long.
    Perhaps I'm becoming an introvert since I don't even attempt conversation with them? (The women, not the pants… I might talk to my pants on occasion…)

  • Reply Becky September 4, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    I know those women -some of them were actually cool when we were friends in college and I'm still trying to figure out how that happened – I know I didn't make up the part where they were cool. Was it in trying to be a grown up they thought they had to become uptight and boring?
    The women I run across like that these days, some of them think I'm one of them. I fully admit to a fondness of Talbot's clothing and maybe I volunteered a little too much at school and that's why. I can speak their language, but I'm grateful for the friends I have who go beyond that surface, who, come to think of it, also appear to be Talbots women, but will engage in afternoon wine and fussing at their husbands in front of good friends, while admitting they haven't had time for a shower in a few days. Those are my people.

  • Reply Green Girl in Wisconsin September 5, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    I never sit by these girls at the football or baseball games. The quirky weirdos standing on the sidelines are so much more fun, so even if my feet hurt, I stand by them.

  • Reply Patience_Crabstick September 6, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    My town is overrun with women like this. Their main topic of conversation (and what the write about in their blogs because a ton of these zombie women have blogs) is consumption: their new phones or latest Stitchfix box or whatever else they've bought or what they ate and drank at whatever restaurant or winery. Conversation about things gets boring after about ten seconds. These people are like the living dead.

  • Reply Cha Cha September 8, 2015 at 4:22 am

    Black yoga pants sound about right. One of my pals identifies them as "those women who wear visors."

  • Reply Cha Cha September 8, 2015 at 4:25 am

    Exactly! They used to be cool, I swear! And I'm glad that I'm not the only one who views showering as a nice-to-have, not always a necessity. I pretend it's bc it's better for my skin, but really, sometimes it just seems like unnecessary effort.

  • Reply Cha Cha September 8, 2015 at 4:25 am

    Yesss. I am all for the quirky weirdos.

  • Reply Cha Cha September 8, 2015 at 4:28 am

    Picturing these women as zombies fills me with serious joy. And amen re: consumption. Wouldn't it be more interesting if it were Moulin Rouge-esque consumption, wherein Nicole Kidman coughs delicately into a handkerchief and you know she's gonna die? (Not that I'm wishing TB on anyone, but it might be something different to talk about.)

  • Reply Banjo Unfabulousness September 14, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    I heart this post so hard. We have a lot of those in my town and they make me crazy. Especially when they look at my kind (the back of the bus/rowdy girls) down the bridge of their way too thin noses.

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