[oh-nee-uhmey-nee-uh, –meyn-yuh]


  1. an uncontrollable desire to buy things.

On Black Friday, I received the sweetest gift from a regular customer at the saloon. It’s not so much that he felt extreme oniomania, but that he is a caring man who worries about my winter inexperience.

Claudio is from a small island in Spain and his accent sounds like warm empanadas just out of the oven. He covers his bald head in an old fashioned newsie hat. He wears oversized Hawaiian shirts and he always sits on the stool next to my cocktail serving station.

On my second day, he waved me over to the bar. He raised his eyebrows and said, “You’re new.”

“It’s terribly obvious, isn’t it?” I asked, and then I introduced myself.

“You look good being new,” he said. “I have been carpenter for thirty years. In beginning, I was no good. Now, I am quite good. Takes time.”

I nodded and thanked him for the encouragement.

Since this first interaction, we’ve spoken about his chemotherapy, his family, how he used to raise sheep, and how ill prepared and clueless I am about the winter.

“You must plug your car in to keep warm.”

“What? Really?” I asked.

“Oh dear. Does your car have these capabilities?” he asked and then took a sip of his Irish coffee.

“I’m guessing no, Claudio!”

“I can buy you something to help. You no buy, I will buy because I know.”

“You really don’t have to do that. I can Google it and make it happen!”

His eyes got big and he reiterated, “You no buy. I will buy.”

So on Black Friday before he claimed his usual stool, he greeted me with his usual smile and said, “Your oil heater is in my car! I will go get it.”

He shook his head rapidly and waved his hands in the air when I demanded to know what he spent so I could repay him. Claudio is one of the sweetest oniomaniacs I know.

3 thoughts on “oniomania.

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