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Tricksy Intuition

How does Seattle figure into a conversation about misleading intuition? Read on.

How does Seattle figure into a conversation about misleading intuition? Read on.

I’d like to speak to y’all today about the proposal that never was, and how sometimes other people’s intuition about a situation can really mess with your own. How is it possible that though everyone has intuition, we don’t all intuit the same thing? It’s probably because the translation, or interpretation, is different, and/or the attachment to the outcome is more or less. Food for thought.

Many years ago, I was living with my then boyfriend, and we were planning to go away for a long weekend to Seattle. Why Seattle? It was a place neither of us had been, and it was during the fall season, which we both loved.

I had made my request to my office job for vacation days. In the weeks that followed, more than one person from my day job implied that I was probably getting proposed to, since we happened to be going away the weekend of our anniversary.

A little background information: at the time we had been together on and off for several years (it might have been six years at that point, but not continuously).

When we had made the plans to go on vacation, the thought of a proposal never entered my mind. I was just excited to go to a new place that I’ve always wanted to go to with my boyfriend. It was a pretty simple goal in my head.

I’m also pretty easygoing with regard to plans. I figured a vacation is a vacation, and that we would go out there and see what we could see. I was wrong. The morning after we arrived in Seattle, my boyfriend wanted to make an itinerary. He had to plan for every day we were there, because, as he reasoned, we only had a short amount of time so we HAD to plan it. Okay, fine. My normally similarly easygoing boyfriend had morphed into a scheduling demon, but I could roll with it… no problem.

So, since we were actually making itineraries, there WAS one thing I wanted to do. I wanted to go to the Space Needle (I was absolutely fascinated by it, and still am) and have dinner at the rotating restaurant at the top of it, called SkyCity. It was the ONLY tourist attraction I had investigated prior to our trip, and I came prepared with printouts from the website AND the dinner menu. Yes, really. The only thing I wanted my boyfriend (the sudden scheduling fiend) to do was book the dinner reservation. Lo and behold, he ground his heels into the ground and didn’t want to make the phone call. My intuition kicked in on overdrive, and in the bad way. Really? it said. He’s fighting you on this? In the end, the fight got completely out of hand in the hotel room, and I ended up calling and making the dinner reservations myself. (Truth be told, I REALLY hate making phone calls. I don’t like talking on the phone, nor placing orders on the phone… I don’t even particularly enjoy calling my now fiancé, for that matter!)

Most of the vacation was good and jam-packed, leaving little to no breathing room or taking in the actual experiences themselves. Pike’s Place Market, the Pacific Science Center, viewing the Dead Sea Scrolls there (yes, there was a bit of kismet going on with our trip falling on the rarity of such a traveling exhibit being there at the same time), the Seattle Aquarium, and yes, seeing the Space Needle. Which brings me to the crisis moment of my story.

So there we were, in the restaurant at the top of the Space Needle. As I had researched extensively about the restaurant, I was aware that we had a limited window of time, considering they limited your dining experience to 2 hours so as to turn over the tables to allow others to experience the rotating view of Seattle and Puget Sound. After a short discussion with our waiter, he assured us that we were there during the off-season, and we could stay as long as we wished.

We were finishing our meal off with desserts. I think my boyfriend had ordered a type of lava cake, while I went with the Flying Saucer, complete with dry ice creating a misty fog that enveloped the surface of our table. It was then that I felt the energy between us shift. I looked up expectantly when my boyfriend opened his mouth to say something… and stopped.

In hindsight, I realized that that must have been the moment that he wanted to ask me to marry him… and didn’t.

We lived together for another eight months before I finally broke it off. Within the span of those eight months, I questioned myself at least several dozen times, “What did I do wrong? Did I say something stupid? Did I look less than attractive or had a particle of food stuck in my teeth at that exact moment? Did the love just die on his lips when he saw me like that? WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?” A month after I terminated the relationship, he asked me the question that sealed it: “If I had proposed to you at the Space Needle, would you have said yes?” So there it was. He HAD thought about proposing. And didn’t.

My intuition was true at that moment at the dinner table. My coworkers’ intuition was true prior to the trip. And yet it played all of us false, because it didn’t happen. How can we all be so right and so wrong at the same time? I simply couldn’t understand it, until my real proposal came from a different person. My very astute fiancé said it best: “I went with the moment and not with the plan.” My guy is a smart fella, isn’t he?

So, what was it that we all were picking up on when the proposal that never was didn’t happen, but we all thought it would? The intention. The plan. The underlying motivation. The man behind the curtain. This is exactly the reason why no psychic will ever be 100% right on their readings… us fickle humans. That tricksy intuition. We think one thing… we do another. We make high and lofty plans… and then we break them. Time and feeling and motivation and choices and turning paths can make for a rocky terrain for even the most talented of intuitives. And yet, intuition still can serve us, if we let it. If we acknowledge that the choices we make do matter and the choices we don’t matter just as much. Everything counts.

I never watched ER religiously, but I did happen to catch episodes from time to time, mostly in reruns. When the proposal I was expecting never happened, I was struck by how similar it was to this scene in ER when Abby and Carter (remember when they were THE couple in ER?) are out at a romantic restaurant, and Carter literally has the engagement ring in his hands under the table and then Abby says something, and he puts the ring away (he goes for the ring box around 4:04). Watch the clip.

Screwed up, isn’t it? That was how I felt when the proposal never occurred. Did I say something boneheaded to make him halt his proposal, like Abby did? Was I so wrong in my intuition that I missed or misread the signals?

In the end I realized exactly what my fiancé came to realize when the real proposal happened: our intuition sometimes reads the underlying intent and not so much the specific when, where, and how. The underlying intention of my now-ex was to propose… but having nothing to propose with (no ring…) made him stay his hand and leave the proposal unsaid, just hanging in the ether where my psychic brain picked it up. I know the reasons for the non-proposal, because my ex revealed the motivations for not proposing after our breakup.


Image courtesy of porbital /

Join in the discussion: How do you post-mortem your intuitive hits? Had a situation like mine? Tell me about it! Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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