Finally another grid search of the room with a flashlight turned up nothing so I turned up the machine. One fell out (actually maybe two but I could only find one). At least now I could sew. I got to a natural stopping place and grabbed the now OH SO PRECIOUS screw and made a beeline for Home Depot.
Naturally there was no one screwing around in the screw department. It took me forever to figure out even where among all those screws to look. Finally I found kind of but not quite what I was looking for and then I spied this very nifty Find Your Screw thing... You screw your screw into the tester and it tells you the size. Turns out my screw was a metric size and they only had phillps head versions but what they heck. I bought 12. Plus a packet of little magnets so that I'd have some place to put them next time I take the plate off. $5.00.
Came home, held my breath and tried one AND IT WORKED!!!!!!! Hallefuckinglooyah. So proud now that I got 12 and I also took a photo of the package that has the size and other info on it. I will not get caught again!
The other day I got an email asking me to test out a new sewing machine - it was from the parent company of the store where I bought mine. Without thinking, I clicked and filled out the form. On my way home from Home Depot I got a call asking if I was still interested and could I go to their Northgate store from 11-2 next Monday. I said sure. I got home and dug out the email...
And figured out that it's simply a sales pitch for this new machine that is on preorder. I looked at the pre-order deal. Among other incentives is a $7,500 discount. That's $7,500 off the price of the machine. I am not smart enough or rich enough to afford or even be interested in a machine that I need to take our a mortgage to buy. I'm not really even interested in seeing that it can do mainly because it turns out to primarily be an embroidery machine and I'm not interested in that aspect of sewing.
But, I'm not mean. I'll wait until tomorrow to call and sadly report that I won't be able to make it after all. I had a personal emergency come up... an attack of common sense!
Now back to my own machine and it's beautiful new screw.