We have a problem with homeless screws. I find them all over the house–in the strangest locations, near nothing that would house a screw.
I found one in the kitchen sink the other day while I was washing the dishes. He was all alone, teetering on the lip of the drain, when I spotted him and scooped him up. Saved! I looked all around to determine where he might live. Surely something was missing this tiny screw–he must be important to something. But my search was in vain.
I hung on to hope and that tiny screw (he joined a collection of misfit, homeless screws I collect in a little basket) for a week or so. Still nothing seemed to be missing him. It’s as if he appeared out of nowhere (as all my homeless screws seem to do). And so, as I am wont to do, I was cleaning up around the house, tossing unimportant receipts and misfit post-its (I have a lot of these, too, but usually they tell me where they came from: “Last week’s grocery list that you wrote and then left at home!”). And there was the little vagrant screw I’d rescued from the drain.
Now, the old me would’ve held on to him and all his homeless brethren regardless of how long they’d been squatting in the basket. But I resolved after my last move (during which I found Ziploc bags and Tupperware containers filled with abandoned screws and other hardware) to do a better job of getting rid of things that serve no purpose. And a screw that is not fastening anything together is fairly useless (note: my toolbox compartment for screws is already overfilled), so, despite my instinct, I tossed him and his still-homeless friends.
Fast forward a week. I get out the teapot for the first time in a while and make some tea. Later, after said teapot has cooled, my husband picks it up to move it from the stove, and says, “Huh. It’s missing a screw.” And sure enough, it was. I didn’t even know the teapot had screws, but I did know immediately where that missing screw was: I’d sent him packing, having given up hope that he’d ever be useful again.
Lesson learned: I’m going back to hoarding abandoned screws.