Show of hands please from everyone out there who thinks we need to be super wise and evolved about our intuition? That’s one of the ways our culture marginalizes intuition btw, by categorizing it as a rare, dramatic and wrenching phenomenon. Those powerful stories are real, but what we really need to be talking about is a much more inclusive conversation. Intuition can be sublime, but it also can be regular and everyday ridiculous! Here’s a story about that:

Many years ago, my friend Ann used to go through a coffee drive-thru called Pirate’s Cove on her way to work. It had started out lightly themed with an anchor or two here and there and crossbones on the sign, but it practically became a theme park when a new owner bought it. Week by week, he started piling on pirate-themed kitsch over every square inch of the joint. One morning when Ann drove up, there was a skeleton perched on the top of the building wearing full pirate regalia complete with an eye patch. So Ann says to the sweet young woman who always served up her chai tea, “Wow! This place is really getting “pirate-y”! Are you going to have to start wearing an eye patch too?”

Well, the barista did not laugh. She looked shocked, and her face crumpled as she replied, “I had to wear an eye patch in elementary school and was teased mercilessly about it”. Long pause, because so. So. Awkward. My sweet friend Ann was mortified. It had started out a nice morning and now they both were practically in tears!

The young woman quit that gig soon thereafter and Ann felt really bad about it. Until one morning when she drove up to find a new barista in a pirate wench costume (complete with eye patch), and she started laughing so hard she had to pull away without ordering.

There are a few points I want to make about this story. First, this is a perfect example of the process of learning what is intuitive and what is not. The process can be bumpy while we’re getting a feel for it. It’s more of an art than a science, and we shouldn’t demand that it be the other way around. Our culture already does that.

What’s worth noting that Ann is known above all for her sensitivity and tact. This was not a blunder. Which leads me to my second point, which is that intuition feels different than coincidence. When you ask Ann about this story, she’ll tell you she believes that as unfortunate as it was that she blurted out what she did, she probably said it at the exact right time. Perhaps the ripple effect of her comment gave the woman the push to leave a job she clearly didn’t enjoy and find something else.

Lastly, if pirates are involved it’s certainly ok to laugh at ourselves.

Also: remember, some of these stories are going to be funnier later.

If you want to read another comical story about the consequences of not listening to a warning from your intuitive friend about your footwear, read Another Grocery Store Story (link).

So, my Mateys, who dares to share their plunder below in the comments? ARGH.

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