In Search of Twine… Since 1983


I have been actively searching for twine since September 1, 1983. I remember the date because it was written on the top of the rental agreement for my first flat – a three bedroom with high ceilings and inadequate heating that I shared with a couple of roommates. In honour of my newfound independence, my uber-practical father presented me with a black plastic toolkit filled with home-dweller essentials, including a roll of twine.

The twine went missing almost immediately. No one fessed up to using it… it simply disappeared. I replaced it. It disappeared again. Thus began the never-ending cycle. My father was right about the practicality of the items in the toolbox. 23 years later, I still have it, and still use most of the items inside. But the item that is most ‘handy’ is the twine, which can never be found in the toolbox… or in the gadget drawer in my kitchen… or in the cupboard where I keep the recyclables.

“Twine” is written on at least one grocery list every month. I buy it. I put it in the toolbox… and the gadget drawer… and the cupboard. But when I want to actually bind boxes with twine so that the damn garbage collectors will take away my flattened boxes, it is gone and I must search the house.

I have found twine in the most unlikely places: in my husband’s shaving kit, in the glove compartment of the car, in the pouch of a child’s hoodie, and under the corner of the dog’s bed, to name a few locations. Yet no one ever fesses up to using it… not the husband, not the children, not the dog. It is a mystery of life.

If the twine were the only thing prone to pulling a Houdini, I might be less consternated. But it is just one of several useful items that regularly vanish into thin air, including:

  • Phone charging cords and the little square do-hickies that you need to plug them into a regular outlet
  • Functional earpods (although broken ones that only allow me to hear music from one side of my head seem readily available)
  • Library cards
  • Umbrellas
  • My eyeliner pencils, my mascara, and my lip balms (although those belonging to my daughters are remarkably spared)
  • The small set of scissors from the kitchen drawer
  • The “good” can opener… ..where the F%#@% is this going?
  • The little dry erase marker with the magnet on one end that is supposed to be stuck to the fridge
  • Stamps
  • The little round pads you use to remove nail polish
  • The BBQ lighter… and the disposable Bic .. and the box of waterproof matches that camper’s use… basically anything that might make fire

The list is endless. It’s as though a poltergeist has taken up residence and is interested only in items that can be purchased at the local Shoppers Drugmart.

Only I wonder about the strange goings on and the vanishing-into-thin-air situations that crop up on an almost daily basis. Only I grumble and mumble and seek confessions. Everyone else, including the dog, seems remarkably disinterested. “Put it on the grocery list, ” my husband will calmly advise me, having no idea how close he is to being smothered by a toss cushion. Because I do not want to buy more twine, or a new can opener, or another BBQ lighter. I want to find the things that I have already bought!

I am thinking of starting a facebook group for people like me… women who need to know where shit has gone! We could exchange images of lost items, and offer condolences to ‘friends’ left in the rain without umbrellas, or forced to attend weddings bare-faced, with nothing but a Bert’s Bees SPF 30 wax stick on their lips. We could post happy face emoticons to celebrate the recovery of earpods from betwixt the sofa cushions, or the finding of a library card in the ass pocket of a pair of jeans.

There must be enough of us to form a group… yes? I am not alone, am I!?!

Author: Kim Scaravelli

Kim Scaravelli is an entrepreneur, marketer, content consultant, and author of “Making Words Work”. The best way to keep in touch is to subscribe to Kim’s popular newsletter. Every second Wednesday, she shares practical writing tips, timely insights, and resources to make your work easier and your content better. To learn more about Kim, visit her website.

13 thoughts

  1. And, as we get older, the problem exacerbates, doesn’t it? I’ve driven myself crazy on many occasions, looking for something I knew I had, but it wasn’t in the place I would normally put it.


    1. My mother-in-law is now at an age when she worries about her mental health whenever this happens to her. I think she finds it reassuring when it happens to others! After all… we can’t all be losing our minds… can we?!?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This post gave me great belly laughs because each of us with kids and pets can relate. I had a son who did bicycle repairs at our house, for his bike and every kid in the neighborhood. Rule #1 was, if you borrow a tool of mine you must put it back. Right! I would find my good Craftsman screwdrivers stuck in the backyard grass/dirt. I’d find them by running over the handles with the lawn!owner. 😦


    1. hmmm… that is worse because it speaks to the presence of Gremlins… tiny mythical creatures who deliberately mess with you. Do you have Gremlins? Good news… could make a really fab blog post about life with Gremlins!

      Liked by 1 person

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