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Iktsuarpok - not just for dogs
You may have it, too - especially on New Year's Eve
Iktsuarpok? What the heck is that you may ask. Don’t ask me. Ask your dog. Chances are, your pooch exhibits all the signs.
There’s a noise outside. In the distance. So far away, you can’t even hear it.
But your puppies can. They run to the door, eager to see who comes. They jump up and down for a view out the window. They claw up the furniture for a perfect perch. They gotta see who’s coming.
And they are so excited — an essential ingredient of iktsaurpok. Just ask any Inuit. After all, they coined the word. And up north, in those isolated stretches, anyone coming to visit is a big deal.
We know they have hundreds of words for snow. Now we know they also have a specific name for this feeling of anticipation that gets us out of our seats, and Fifi peeing herself with manic excitement.
Iktsuarpok refers to the feeling of anticipation when you’re expecting someone that leads you to constantly check to see if they’re coming. It’s the impatient excitement for a visit that makes you look out the window countless times in hopes of seeing your guest arrive.
So, it may be your dog. But it may be you, too.
After all, it’s party time!
Maybe you’re planning a New Year’s Eve bash. You’ve bought extra Don Perignon. It’s chilling on ice. Party hats come in packets of twelve, so you bought two just to make sure you have enough.
Noisemakers, confetti, and a double recipe of Aunt Mary’s rum balls. You’re all dressed up in lace and satin. Your new heels look cute, but the toes cramp your feet. You’ll be glad to shed these once the dancing starts.
Only the most romantic music is cued up on your playlist. You sweated for days over that playlist. Every moment must be perfect. Every song uplifting, with a building momentum of excitement crescendoing towards midnight.
The lighting is perfect. The floors are freshly polished. The rug is rolled up, and the hardwood gleams. You hope no one slips; it’s so sleek.
Hors d’oeuvres’re warming in the oven. Thank God for Costco. The lines weren’t too bad, but the parking lot was a mess. Thirty minutes in the store. An hour exiting the lot. Typical this time of year. The cost of doing business or throwing a party. All in a day’s work or play.
And now the hour is here.
You look at your watch — or your cell phone. It’s almost nine. You’re pooped. Why did you set it so late? Folks our age no longer have to stay out till midnight. We watch the ball drop in Times Square at 9 pm Pacific time so we can go to bed like decent folk.
But nooo! We had to plan the bash to end all bashes. Magazine perfect. The Virgo in us insisted on playing full out just this once. But where are our guests? We run to the window. Maybe they’re having trouble parking.
We check the stove, the fridge the Champaign, our stocking seams, and our lipstick. And back to the window. The dogs are getting tired now. They’ve found their favorite perches and are resting head down, giving us that sad-eyed look.
Their iktsaurpok is over. They’ve settled in for a nap. We check the front door. We check the back door. We check our phone for text messages. And here they come:
Sorry, we fell asleep. Can we take a rain check?
Decided not to be on the road with the drunks. We owe you dinner and movie.
Our daughter dropped in! What a surprise! All the way from Mumbai! Please understand…
And…You won’t believe this, that cute guy at my office…well…stay tuned…
And so it goes….you take the shoes off, relieved. You curl up on the couch with the Fido and Fifi — who usually aren’t allowed on the furniture. But hey, it’s New Year’s Eve!
You get out the mini-quiches and the rum balls, share them three ways, and turn on the TV. The ball is just about to drop in Times Square.
You pour a toast and raise a cup o’ kindness yet to Auld Lang Syne. We’re done with 2022 for better or for worse. And we’re done with iktsaurpok — for now.