Suzanne is one of the first GAWBs I met–and well met, too, as she’s a co-founder–and everything about her makes me happy. She is a sheer delight. She was one of the Beta readers for TIARA TROUBLE, and I certainly appreciated her help. When you finish reading this little introduction to her, please pop over to THOUGHTS IN PROGRESS for a review, and to Storm Goddess Book Reviews for a review and an excerpt. But first! Meet Suzanne.
Name: Suzanne D’Aunoy Meehle
Job Title: Attorney (The Meehle Law Firm) / Vice President and Evil Genius (Grown Ass Woman Brigade)
Industry: Law / Non-profit
1. Who are you? I’m a do-gooder.
2. What do you love most about your life? My marriage. I’ve got an amazing man who supports all my crazy ambition and ridiculous pursuits.
3. What do you love most about your work? I get to help people be their best selves. No, really! My law firm exclusively supports small business. And GAWB supports women.
4. Describe your family: it’s just me, my husband Tim and our dog Legal. Tim is a web developer. Legal is a lab/beagle mix. I’m also extraordinarily close with my siblings, Beth, Carla and Lester.
5. What does the first hour of your day look like? I go check the calendar and email in bed. Sad but true. Then I get up, lace up and go for a run.
6. The last hour? I finally put my laptop away for the night, do some stretches, go brush my teeth, and go to bed. Sounds pretty pathetic.
7. What makes you feel successful? When it all gets done by the end of the day.
8. What brings you joy? Running. My husband. My dog. GAWB. Not necessarily in that order.
9. Which women do you most admire? Women who have been successful on their own terms. Arianna Huffington. Hillary Clinton. Condaleeza Rice. Sandra Day O’Connor.
10. What do you like best about your closest friend? Falling asleep and waking up next to him.
11. What do you like best about yourself? I’m strong. And fairly weird.
12. What advice would you give to boys about girls? You don’t need to own her. Just be her friend.
13. What is the best advice anyone has ever given you? “It’s ok if you don’t want to go to grad school. There’s always law school.”
14. How do you overcome adversity? Power through. There’s no other way to get to the other side of it but through it.
15. How do you want to be remembered? As my own woman.
For those of you who have been playing along since 2007, you’ll remember that the Women Worth Knowing Project started out as Wonder Woman Wednesdays. I was talking to a friend about a friend, and realized they needed to know each other. As I started making introductions, I started realizing just how special and wonderful every woman friend I had was.
To make it a little easier on myself, I decided to start introducing them to one another through a Q&A profile sheet with a short bio from me. Awesome people need to know other awesome people. Then, I started thinking, “These women are inspiring,” and I decided that the rest of the world should get to know them, too. So Women Worth Knowing was born and I started posting profiles of any interesting woman I met.
You know why? Because y’all need to meet each other! I’ve gotten to watch careers begin and successes unfold when my friends have been introduced.
A few months back, during the WWK lull, one of my neighbors pointed me in the direction of the Grown Ass Woman Brigade. I laughed when I saw the name, but I got a happy little chill when I read this:
I was having a really terrific conversation with my friend, Suzanne, one day when I had a revelation. “You know,” I said, “it’s just so nice to be talking to another…grown ass woman.” Suz immediately understood what I meant. It’s hard to meet other women who are creative and strong and smart and okay in their own skin. No crazy drama…no weird insecurity…no inexplicable competitiveness.
I like to call them grown ass women and I am lucky to have met quite a few. My goal here was to introduce these friends and maybe create a nurturing, supportive network of amazing and fun women. -Heather, GAWB co-founder
Doesn’t that sound just like the Women Worth Knowing Project? And since I have been a member of GAWB, I have seen women throwing all their resources together to help boost one another up and over every ledge, ladder, and wall you can imagine. From health and family, to career and networking, these ladies share their lives with one another to help out as a community. It’s pretty wonderful.
I was talking with Heather and asked if I could link up WWK with GAWB and start interviewing the membership for the project. I am still very excited that she said yes.
So, to kick off the re-re-restart of the Women Worth Knowing Project, I’d like to introduce you to Sgt. Sassypants, the mascot of the Grown Ass Woman Brigade.
Sgt. Sassypants is capable, compassionate, drama-free, ugly-insecurity free, determined, dedicated, and looks great on a t-shirt. She’s Rosie the Riveter for the roaring 21st Century. She will bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan, and never let you forget she’s equal to any man.
Since GAWB’s inception, co-founders Heather and Suzanne, have worked to build a base of women worthy of the name. We even have mini-GAWBs, who will grow up to rule the world. Not only that, but they have branched out into public service.
And they have instituted an annual charity ball–The Red Dress Ball.
I haven’t been able to attend a Red Dress Ball, yet. Why? What could keep me from dressing up and dancing the night away? Geography. Until recently, most of the GAWBs were based in Florida. But, Heather is moving my way, and our Texas GAWB chapter is starting to hop. I’m looking forward to boring my husband with details of dress shopping to find that perfect red for the next ball.
In the weeks to come, you’re going to meet some of the GAWBs. We’re going to start with Patricia, since she’s the one who introduced me to the group, and because you’ll wonder where she’s been all your life once I tell you about her.
Meanwhile, if you are a woman worth knowing, or you know a woman worth knowing, email me. lane (at) theoutsidelane (dot) com.
Do you know why? If you guessed that our internet was fixed, that’s a good guess. However, that is not why.
Why is because I have now collected enough profiles that I feel comfortable announcing a Return of the Women Worth Knowing Project–at least through the end of the year.
So, here’s what you can expect from The Outside Lane. On Mondays, you’ll get something bookish: a review, an interview with an author, a guest post from an author. On Wednesdays, you’ll get a new Women Worth Knowing profile. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, you’ll get the random, rapid firing of my brain.
My mom and I were watching Thor’s batting practice tonight. As always, she was watching the coach with one eye, and Thor with the other, muttering praise, or worry as the coach did this, or that. With most mothers, that would be some armchair quarterbacking, but with mine? Mine knows her baseball from the inside out. My mom played baseball for years.
She was squinting at how Thor was standing and I asked, “Which team was it that came and scouted you?”
“The Cardinals,” she said. “St. Louis.” That turned her around in my direction.
“I always get that wrong,” I said. “I always think it was one of the sock teams And tell me again how they found you?”
“My coach. Coach Ball. He was talking about Jo Young, telling them how good this Joe Young was, and they thought he was talking about a boy.” Now she was squinting at me.
I smiled at her. “And tell me what the scout said.”
“He said I was amazing. He told my coach that everything he said about me was true, and I was one of the best they’d seen.”
“But you couldn’t play.”
“No. I couldn’t. He said, ‘She’s everything you said, but she’s just a girl.'”
I have zero body intelligence, as we’ve discussed before. I can barely do yoga. So, the idea that I might not ever be allowed to play sports professionally has never bothered me. I don’t care that I can’t play baseball professionally because I have XX chromosomes because I can’t play baseball anyway. You would have to Bionic Woman me to even get me on a playing field with the AAA rookies. But what if someone told me I couldn’t write professionally because of my sex? The level of devastation would be overwhelming. If you’re good enough, what’s your junk got to do with it? Why should your gender stand in the way of your earning power? And I say earning power because ARod makes a helluva lot more money than Crystl Bustos. Who? Exactly.
At dinner I asked my mom, “How did it feel to know that you had the same, or better ability than some men, but weren’t going to have the same opportunity to make a living doing something you loved? That you weren’t going to have the same opportunity to create wealth for yourself doing something you were born with a natural ability to do?”
She shook her head, “It was hard. It was always hard.”
How different, how much better, how much more fulfilling could my mother’s life have been, had she been afforded the opportunity to play professional ball?
I told her I wanted to do a video interview for the blog. She squinted at me some more, then cocked her head to the left. She said, “All right.” And went back to her dinner.
Thor went home with her, where he’ll be practicing the drills the coach gave him to do. No one better to show him the way than the Mighty Jo Young.