Friday, November 26, 2010

Out with the old, in with the new and old (with a side of older man?)

I have a group of oh, I don't know, twenty girlfriends. A few of us met for coffee this morning in a post holiday roundup. I came in late and spotted the group immediately. They all sat at one table and a pile of ErgosPetunia Pickle BottomsHooter Hiders and Sophies were at another. The women I call my besties now come with one or all of the following: diamond rings, babies and men. They didn't see me see them so I quickly jumped in line for a latte before I made my way over.

My girlfriends are some of most stunning women you will ever lay eyes on. I'm not kidding. They are smart, funny, compassionate, hip and compelling. They also happen to be gorgeous in a very unconventional way. Each brings something to the table. And when the whole table is together? Watch out. They're powerhouses.

I've known them all since way before I knew better, and once I did get my wits about me, I thanked my lucky stars daily for their friendship. I still do. I have no idea why they keep my around. A pushy little girl, I'm sure I squirmed my way in and didn't give them much of a choice when we were young. Once the dust of pre-pubescence settled, we were in it together. We wanted the same things: Good grades, boyfriends, cars, college, etc. I never considered that with that many strong minded women, our priorities as individuals would change. 

Sitting down for coffee with them, I realize how different I've become.  I'm loving watching the way the light bounces off Jordan's engagement ring as she talks about her upcoming wedding and trip to Belize with Ron. Emi and her new husband, Bob, are deep in the throws of fixing up their Langley bungalow. They're going to look at countertops and cabinets later. Emily is back in her pre-baby Seven For All Mankind's, looking hot as ever while her one year old, Lucia, shoves both hands down her shirt in a desperate plea for milk. Brooke and Justin have started a wine label and Justin darts off to make deliveries to the local stores. Ashlea and her little one, Zoe, are headed home to pack for Skykomish, where her and her husband have a ski cabin.

You might think I'd be jealous. Even I think I'd be jealous. Looking around at my beautiful girls, the truth is I'm scared. While they're nesting, I'm simplifying. I went to Laguna Beach with a very distinct feeling: that is would turn me toward a relationship or it would turn me toward my other passion, work. Since that trip did not introduce me to my future husband, since I don't have the baby/man/ring scenario, it's time for some upward mobility. This is the window to be a career girl. I've been waking up every morning thinking, more drive, Sarah. Dig deep and find just a little more drive. I sound like a freaking fracking inspirational poster in a career counselor's office and it scares me silly.  Can I trust myself? Is it okay to be okay with not having domestic bliss right now?

The group breaks and Emily invites me to sit in her car while she lulls Lu into a nap. I spontaneously take this time to burst into tears while simultaneously ducking eye contact with familiar faces passing by.

"What if I stop fitting in? What do I do if this isn't my group anymore?" I blubber.

Emily soothes my worries and reminds me that our friendships aren't built on superficial commonalities. She gives me the usual pep talk and I wonder what it's like to have a nut for a best friend. I leave feeling better, but still worried that even if my friends don't disown me, I'll always be the odd duck waddling to her own quirky tune.

For instance, I kind of like the idea of dating an older man. He doesn't have to be too much older, just old enough to confident when he walks into a room. Mature enough to be steady and stable and ready to deal with a handful like me and a circus like my family. I've even considered the idea of dating a man who has a child (or children). It's not that I'm lazy and want to skip childbirth (and the years of sleepless nights) it's just that I think my auntie skills could cross over into some pretty kick-ass stepmom moments. Growing up with step-parents, both of whom I love, leaves you with a really good idea on what you would do and what you would do differently.

Then there is the fucked up part: I can also picture myself telling a story to my friends with a sparkly ring on one hand, a baby on my hip and a husband at my side. It's so confusing! So, what do I do? I get rid of everything. If it's replaceable, it's gone. Why? I don't really know. I guess it sounded like a good idea at the time. A blank slate. Out with the old. Clearing bulky shit out of the way so I can clear a mental path to the future I want. If only I knew what that future looked like.  

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Laguna Beach

For those of you keeping score or just trying to keep up...

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Laguna Beach: Part Four

"Have you ever seen the Green Flash?"

The sun was taking its time, slowly slinking toward the horizon. Catalina Island was to the right; the man asking the question to the left. "I'm not sure. I think I've pretended to see it because everybody else said they saw it, but I don't think I've ever really experienced it," I answered without moving my eyes away from the glow. I was worried I would miss it.

I've spent most of my life worried I would miss it.  Life as a late bloomer always made me feel like I was scrambling to catch up. I did what most misguided girls do: I spent all of my time with boys who would never make me a better woman. I thought I could squeeze a little love out of them. All it did was perpetuate the vicious little voice that kept whispering, "It's never going to happen for you. This is all you are worth."

I took the path of least resistance, also known as the path of least romance. I slowly released the idea that there was a man out there that would hold my hand as we walked down the street.  I settled for dark heat that radiated from the dip in my collarbone to the rounds of my thighs. Looking for love in the depths of lust started to bleed. It was taking its toll being the girl who didn't deserve more. I wasn't sure my little body could take the gut-wrenching agony for one more moment.

In the middle of my 28th year I awoke. Crashing so hard against rock bottom was a core shaker I couldn't sleep through. Just like a nap that's gone on a little too long, I woke up disoriented and not sure where to begin. My sky had been black for so long I almost didn't notice when life started to crawl back into me. The big moment was when I was finally able to fall in love with the idea of falling in love again. Not because the fairy tales told me to, but because I told me to. 

That's why this trip to Laguna Beach was so important. I had met a man and I liked him. He made me smile. It seemed like an easy decision to go see him and see if he could make me do more than smile. Before my trip, I had an appointment with my therapist.  She warned me, "Every time you find yourself focused on sexual or physical attraction, I want you to pay very close attention to how he is treating you. How does he make you feel?"

As a recovering lust addict, this would be a challenge. When I found myself wondering if he wanted to grab me in a red-hot pull of passion, and more importantly if I wanted him to, I would catch my breath. Stay focused focused focused. How is he treating you?  I would repeat to myself. I understood what my therapist was getting at, but seriously? Was I really supposed to put sex to the side and base this portion of the competition on congeniality alone? I couldn't help but think we should just make out and see what happened. I'm no boy scout, but I'm pretty sure there is no chance for a spark if the flint and steel never touch.

While his fingertips weren't touching me, his mind and heart still were.  He was a complete gentleman. The fog of welcoming kindness was stalling my senses. It was hard to figure out if he was acting the part of a future boyfriend or a simply a gracious host. It all felt very... vanilla. The whole house was a shade of grain. Basmati walls and quinoa carpeting. It was a calm and quiet space where everything had a place. Everything except me.  I was pretty sure that if I stood in one place too long it would burst into color. He insisted he was happy I was there, but it couldn't be denied: I was a Taurus bull in a tidy little beige china shop. Compared to the stable life he had so meticulously created, my mess was spilling out in front of him, a chaotic cacophony.

I used to allow my low self-worth to swallow my quirky traits and spit them out as one more reason men never 'stuck' to me. I would beg the night heavens to wake up someday as a girl next door, a demure little wall flower worth marrying. But now? Now I've learned to embrace the shit show that is me. The real me is loud and blinding and leaves a trail. And you know what? So is my love.

Have I ever seen the green flash? I can't be sure. All I know is that I am going to stop pretending I have. I'm going to stop insisting there is a spark when really it's just another pretty view. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Laguna Beach: Part Three

One thing that slipped my mind when I set out on this journey was not where I was, but where I was going. Laguna Beach. The beach! As we parked at Trestles, a famous surf spot on the west coast, it hit me. I planned a trip to visit one surfer and had completely forgotten about all the other surfers.

They were everywhere. They were short and tall, young and old. I didn't see one girl. I'm all for equality, but on this day I was just liking my odds. As my flip-flops smacked against the worn out pavement, we passed them one by one. Some rode bikes; one arm wrapped around their board, the other on the handlebar. Some were on skateboards, some on foot. All of them eye candy.

On most days I'm  a shade of white draped in shades of grey. More Wednesday Addams than Gidget, it might be a surprise, but one place I'm always at home is on the beach. I did grow up on an island after all. I'm a water baby. Just being on the edge of the water makes my heart bubble up to the surface. And I have to admit it, I love surfers. They do everything I'm scared of and they look so freaking good doing it. When I was 14, I went to see a movie at The Clyde Theater. My mom told me we were going to see a remake of a 1960s movie. Boring. The only thing that interested me was popcorn and Whoppers. Little did I know. Endless Summer 2 was like pre-teen porn for a girl growing up in the cold and blustery Pacific Northwest.  Men like them just didn't exist in my world. It was as if I was watching a movie about unicorns. I ended up seeing the movie a dozen times. I subscribed to Surfing Magazine and plastered my bedroom wall with waves and the men who rode them. They followed the summer and I followed them.  Christian Slater was out and Kelly Slater was in. 

It wasn't all about the boys. My new fascination made me want to learn how to surf. I wanted to travel the world. I wanted to go on adventures and connect with people on every continent. To be that athletic girl who looked adorable in a bikini and could also keep up with a surfer of her very own. My 14 year-old self wasn't sure how to get there, but I was bound and determined. I couldn't keep my eyes off them. The way these men danced on the surface of the sparkling ocean was magic. They always seemed to be laughing and going with the flow. That was the kind of man I wanted when I grew up.

And now here they were. Right in front of me. I set up camp on a beach towel, wiggled my sits bones into the sand and stared out at the waves. I wasn't as nervous as I had been earlier in the day, but I still felt a little flushed and unsure of myself. I couldn't get a read on him, but I knew if anything would make him happy, the water would. "Have you ever watched a really good surfer?" He was in the middle of explaining some of the basics. I went backward in my mind. "In real life? No. Not really." I guessed that he probably wouldn't be interested in my childhood fantasies. He was getting ready. His wetsuit was folded down to his waist and he was squatting, a surfboard balanced on his knees. His forearms and shoulders flexed as he waxed his board in a swift, circular motion. This week would certainly be a test in trying not to gawk (or melt). Like I said, men like this just didn't exist in my world.

Well, all except one.  I was at my mom's house sitting outside on the deck when I met him. I was 15, so my "surf stoke" was in full swing by this point. He walked up and I was a goner. A real surfer standing in front of me. Me with my braces and my fringe bangs. Who was this cute boy and why was he here? He was a friend of Phoebe's and was fresh off a plane from Costa Rica. An island boy who never let his roots hold him down.  I swooned and was instantly a clumsy fool for him. 5'7" of stocky surfer perfection. We'd see him in between trips and I would gaze at him adoringly as he described a polluted river mouth that was suspected to have given Hepatitis A to surfers. He could have had any local girl he wanted (hep or no hep), but he was shy and mellow and didn't seem interested in romance. I was shy and dorky and was not about to admit that he was my rock star.

I still get teased for the hormonally raging crush I had on him.  Lucky for us, when the crush faded a friendship flourished. We're still close, sharing a tight knit crew. On a very, very late night a couple of years ago, I found myself seated next to him at a strip club in Portland (don't ask).  "I have to tell you something," I yelled over the music to him, "You were the first man ever to leave me speechless." He looked back at me for a second and grinned. "You? Speechless? That's one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me." He threw his arm around my shoulder and we went back to watching naked women. I smiled. I could move on now, 15 years later. It felt good to tell the truth to an old friend.

Back in Laguna, my new friend headed out into the sinking sun.  I tried to keep my eyes on his back as he paddled out. This is where he belonged. In the hours and hours (and hours) of talking, I knew the ocean was where his soul lived. As the weeks passed, I started to be able tell, from two states away, if he'd been surfing or not. There was just something in his mood that was different if he hadn't surfed. It wasn't that he was grumpy, he just wasn't... complete. That's why I wanted to come to the beach on my first day here. I wanted both of us to get real, get into our comfort zones: him in the water, me on the beach. I thought this would be a way to connect. Then I lost him. I couldn't tell him apart from all the other bobbing black dots. They looked like seals. Great whites really can't be blamed it turned out. Since I couldn't tell one from the other, I closed my eyes and took a deep, salty breath. My body was cooling off, but I could still feel the heat on my eyelids. It felt so good to be exactly where I was, even though I had no clue where I, or this, was going.  

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Laguna Beach: Part Two

We landed early. This was a blessing that gave me a few minutes to pull it together while I waited for him* to pick me up at John Wayne Airport. I shoved my pink and brown plaid suitcase against an empty wall in Baggage Claim and plopped down. I called Brooke, pinning my phone between my shoulder and my sweaty cheek as I swapped Jack Purcells for flip-flops. Just as I had feared, my socks had left marks around my ankles. I retain water. My ankles are the first to feel the affects. I'm not alone. I had tea with my grandma last month and saw my destiny: swollen ankles and a steel-trap memory (even at 87) that lends itself to hours of storytelling. Flying doesn't help my cause.  Luckily, I had heeded the advice from my mom (and Amelia) to hide my "winter legs" under jeans. I didn't even wait for her to say hello.

"I need the world's fastest pep talk."
"You're amazing. You're funny, smart, beautiful and you're one of my favorite people on the planet. If he doesn't get it then he doesn't get to have you."
"You're just saying that because you have to! I think I am going to throw up. Or shit my pants. Or both. Whose idea was this?! I can't do this, Brooke. I want out."
"I wondered when it would hit you. You were way too calm about this last week. Breathe. You're Sarah Fosmo, and right now, that's all you have to be. Have you thought about the fact that you might not want him?"
"I have thought about that, but not wanting what I thought I wanted is not nerve-racking, it's predictable. You're right. I'll be fine. No expectations. Just exploring the idea. But you and I both know I'm a handful. I wouldn't blame him if he left me at the airport."
"Stop it. And by the way, it would be awesome if you wanted to accidentally pocket dial me and leave the phone on."
"Dream on. Oh, man, this is going to either be the best idea I've had or the absolute fucking worst idea ever.  Who does this? Flying to another state for a first date? No one does that! What if he doesn't show up?"
"He'll show up."

Always outsmarting me, that best friend of mine. He did show up and I didn't even throw up on him. Three months after catching each other's eyes, here we were. Three months after he touched me with his mind, here I was wanting to touch him just to make sure he was next to me.

Right as he was completing an act of chivalry by loading my bag into his Volvo, Brooke texted me: you are sarah fucking fosmo, best friend, super daughter, great sister. I laughed. It reminded me that there would always be something to laugh at.

"You probably want lunch. What do you feel like?" He said.

What did I feel like? I felt like a horse tranquilizer and a gallon of wine. "A salad, maybe?" I answered tentatively with all the volume I could muster.

He brought me to Zinc Cafe and Market in Corona Del Mar. A darling vegetarian cafe with an equally adorable little market attached to it. The place was calm and normal. Every door was open and the breeze passed by easily. It was more than I could say for myself. What I thought had been the noise from jet engines in between my ears was really the roar of nerves vibrating through me.

"Anything to drink?" The perfectly pleasant young woman behind the counter asked.
"I'll just have water, thanks." He answered.
"Oh um, water too, please." I smiled, hiding my disappointment. Where is Jesus when you need him?

He seemed a little guarded, but what I did I know? It was everything I could do to feel my legs beneath me. Checking in with my gut just didn't seem like a viable option in this moment. He spoke quickly and quietly, pushing and pulling me in closer to hear his words. Sitting across from him, I was reminded how handsome he was.  His skin was smooth, but weathered. Strong cheekbones rested intentionally on either side of an equally deliberate nose and jawline. Without his careful blond hair and golden tan, I would have thought he could be the great great grandson of a native american chief. He'd taken off his grey hoodie leaving me to witness the way that his defined face organically sloped down to sculpted muscles that clung to a clean, white v-neck t-shirt. Evidence of long distance paddling and endless hours of surfing.  Without getting caught staring, I tried to study the deep creases that formed around his eyes. I knew the etchings had surfaced after decades of playing in the Pacific Ocean, but I secretly hoped some of the lines were from laughing. I had always wanted a man that could not only be a partner, not only be a lover, but also a playmate. Someone to laugh at the nonsense with me. For months, I had felt butterflies at the thought of him, but what I hadn't felt was the placid energy that was radiating out past his vegetarian nicoise salad. I couldn't decide if his mellowness made me feel better or worse, like more or less of a shitshow. I picked at my salad. Would his stormy blue eyes be able see the green in mine? Could he see the real me or just the me that sometimes showed up in the form of a slightly abrasive broad when I was feeling vulnerable?

My usual coping skills include sticking with a pattern, finding comfort in routine. I was in a strange city and my bearings were nowhere to be found. I was acting like a nervous wreck around the only person I knew in the zipcode. It all made me feel so... new. Time to push through this.  I had six more days to go.  If I couldn't sink into my routine, I'd sink into his. "Let's go to the beach."

*In order to respect privacy, there will be no naming names here. Don't ask. I'm not telling. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Guest Blogopolitan by Amelia Purser

We will get back to the Laguna Beach story, but for now, please enjoy the guest blog written by Amelia Purser. Happy Election Day, everyone!

I didn’t go to finishing school. I prefer hoodies and flip-flops to twinsets and pearls. The only reason I know what fork to use is because I’ve seen Pretty Woman one too many times. Should the Queen suddenly appear in front of me, I'd have no idea how to greet Her Majesty. I do, however, have a list of ‘rules’ that I adhere to in order to respect myself and those around me. One such rule: Don’t speak about politics unless you’re ready to deal with the consequences.

I grew up with hippie parents. I was raised by not only them, but the hippie parents of my friends as well. We were taught to love everyone. Taught that differences didn’t make us better or worse, they simply made us different. We were taught to learn from those who didn’t share our opinions. I try.

For me it's simple. If two people love each other I want them to be able to marry, I want women to make their own decisions about their own bodies and I don’t want anyone to try to ‘convert’ me to their way of thinking. 

Problem: I’d love it if everyone else would just convert to my way of thinking. That makes me a hypocrite and I hate hypocrites. I know that when my parents were raising me and teaching me to love and accept others, they had no idea how much I would need those words of wisdom as an adult. 

Five years ago, I fell in love with a Republican. Gasp! His issues of The Economist and The Wall Street Journal sit comfortably next to my issues of US Weekly and Eating Well on the coffee table. His vintage inspired “Reagan/Bush ‘84” and my well worn “01.20.09 (Bush’s last day)” tees often end up in the washing machine together. 

I don’t know when I came up with my code of silence in regards to politics, but I think it was around the same time that I stopped paying attention to all political issues and focused on a small few that will literally make me cry or start screaming if I talk about them with someone who doesn’t agree with me (sorry, Mom and Dad). I know it was a reckless way to handle my right to vote, the same right that women in the early 1900s fought tooth and nail for. I never skipped out on an election, but for most of my adult life, I’d been underwhelmed by politics (and politicians) and as a result I wound up under-informed. I’m getting better, I’ve started paying attention again (you have to be informed in this household). 

Blair, on the other hand, has always loved politics. He once told me, "I've loved Colin Powell since I was ten." His first job interview out of college was at the Pentagon a few weeks after 9/11. He ended up happily working for the Department of Labor during the Bush administration for a year or so before packing up and moving back to the West Coast. 

In the beginning of our relationship, politics wasn’t an issue; we didn’t talk about it aside from the usual banter: ‘right wing conservative’ versus ‘bleeding heart liberal’. Things changed in the Spring of 2009. His brother, Tim, (who also worked for the Bush administration and has an impressive resume of service to our country) decided that he would run for office in Virginia. Blair was brought on as Campaign Director. This meant a temporary move to the other side of the country for Blair. His days were filled with fundraising, door knocking, research, organizing volunteers, and event planning. My days were filled fielding questions from people about how I could handle being alone for four months, and more importantly, how I could handle dating a Republican.

It didn't take long to discover that Tim has a dangerous combination of quick wit and intelligence that I should avoid at all cost. He has the ability to verbally flatten me in less than 10 seconds. Blair operates with a less confrontational approach. He discusses politics with ‘relaxed confidence’ (the Palmer family motto). We don’t sit at the dinner table and argue the whereabouts of Obama’s birth certificate, but the conversations have become more involved. Blair calmly and gracefully explains his views and then listens attentively to the views of those around him. I ask questions about foreign policy and fiscal issues and he usually relays to me both sides of the issue. Thankfully, there are a few topics that we are in complete agreement on: gay marriage, a woman’s right to choose, and Sarah Palin.

Tim lost his race, but we all came away from that experience having learned a lot. Blair is now working on a congressional campaign in Washington State and his days are again consumed with politics. When he first started on this campaign I helped him stuff envelopes for a fundraiser they were having. I had convinced myself that because Blair’s candidate wasn’t running in my district, it wasn’t really a conflict of interest for me to be ‘working’ for a candidate that I wouldn’t vote for. That was the last time I contributed to the campaign. I started feeling like a bad partner because I saw how hard Blair was working and I never offered my assistance. I asked him once if he was hurt that I never volunteered or took an active role in anything relating to his job. The thought had never crossed his mind because he too would never be able to help me on a campaign for a candidate that he wouldn’t vote for.

I’m used to the jokes and the never-ending interrogation about how we make our relationship work. For me, it boils down to one simple word that most people forget when discussing politics: respect. Blair and I both know that we're not going to change each other's mind, that there are issues that we will never see eye to eye on, and that sometimes it’s better to just change the subject. In the midst of the Arizona immigration debate, Blair and I had a lengthy conversation about our respective opinions on the subject. What started as a simple discussion (spurred by Ms. Fosmo) ended up lasting 2 and a half hours. I finally announced that I was done talking about it. The conversation could have lasted for 5 hours and neither one of us would have changed our minds. We decided to agree to disagree and watch a movie. We hadn’t made it passed the opening credits when Blair thanked me for the immigration conversation and told me that he thought I had made some interesting points that he had never thought of before. If only all political debates could be so civil!

I recently took a cooking class, a night when ‘the girls’ could get together and watch someone else cook, eat fabulous food, and sip wine. Guess what came up? Politics. A pleasant evening enjoyed by friends from all walks of life was reduced to a battle of opinion. I watched friends who have gathered for birthdays, holidays, births, and deaths argue over what charities to donate to, what causes to support, and what side to agree with. Grown women raising their voices and neither ‘side’ giving the other the respect they deserve.

I learned a long time ago that I can’t expect to be respected and heard if I’m not willing to respect and listen. There’s a reason why the “Golden Rule” has been around for so long; it makes sense. 

Respect those around you and don't forget to vote today!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Laguna Beach: Part One

(ignore the cheesy slideshow and listen to the song; couldn't do better right now)

An electronic reader board blinks yellow as we round the corner to Sea-Tac: The Journey Begins here.

I boarded Alaska Air Flight 510 at 10am from gate D7. My seat assignment was 7D. I turned this into a good sign the way I always seem to. If I couldn't make sense of it, maybe the numbers could. I had one carry on, one nonfat latte and a heart that wouldn't let me forget it was scared to death. Seattle dropped out of sight beneath a sweater of soggy clouds. All that stood between me and the sky were raindrops and a window. It all gave in, the drops became rivulets, speeding past my window toward the tail of the plane. Rapid rows of moisture, streaking by in an orderly fashion, only stopping to hiccup on their way to a free fall.  It reminded me of those machines they hook people up to in the hospital. EKG monitors? Watching the water spike up and down as the earth fell below me struck me as surreal. In that moment, not a person on the planet could tell me I wasn't alive.
"You're an adventurer. You have to embrace it. What are you supposed to do? Sit in a room and write stories about things you've never experienced? No one would believe you."

Two hours later, I saw the ocean. A 30,000 foot fall and then... ocean. A splinter of truth ran through me: If this plane crashed it would be the easy way out. I had to do this. I had to get on this plane and the plane had to land. I had to see for myself.

She was right, the way my mom always is. I'm an adventurer. An emotional thrill-seeker. My stories are written from everywhere, but at the same time they're always written from the messy place where my gut and heart collide. They fly by the back of my eyes when I'm on a run. They unfold on the road and in the sky. Some nights I write from a lonely table in a lonely restaurant on a lonely evening. Too many times, I've written perched every so lightly on the edge of a broken heart.

On this morning, I wrote from a place that felt too edgy. Literally. I gave up being anxious a long time ago, but all of the sudden my nerves wouldn't allow me to hear my insides speak. It's hard to tell stories when they're not rounded out. This story has no end yet and if asked how it began, I may not give the right answer. It floats around poking and prodding it's way out of me like a human trying to give birth to a martian. So, I try and make it the fun part. The emotional skydive. When Sarah gives in, the story falls out.

But this isn't about a story falling. It's about me falling. Will I or won't I? Will we or won't we? I can't be sure. Right now, all I can do is let the plane land, even though every ounce of me is wondering if I would seem crazy if I asked the pilot to keep going. Mexico must be nice this time of year, right? No. This plane has to land and I have to find out. 

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now beginning our descent in Orange County."