As I was getting ready for bed, at around midnight, I noticed that the screws securing the handle plate to the wood were loose. The repair could have waited until the morning, but I hate leaving jobs undone, so fished a screwdriver out from under the sink.
Once I'd tightened the screws, I turned the handle to test it...only to discover it was emitting a horrible grinding noise. I loosened the screws a little, but it made no difference; the internal mechanism sounded as if it were about to seize up.
My mind raced ahead to worst-case scenario: the door would jam shut and I'd have to call someone in to repair it, which would cost a fortune. They were bound to make an mess and they'd have to replace the handle with one that didn't match the rest. These wild imaginings did have some grounds, mind you: I know of two people who have had internal doors become stuck shut.
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The only way I might avoid all of that inconvenience was to tackle it myself - and immediately. Back I went under the sink for a can of WD40 spray: 'an answer for every challenge' say the manufacturers, though opinions seem to differ as to appropriate uses, so don't try this at home.
After much experimentation - and dripping and mopping up with copious amounts of kitchen paper - I managed to get enough of the product inside to loosen the mechanism and stop that awful noise. Problem solved...except now it seemed that the handle itself was loose within the plate. Was this a new issue or had it always been like that?
It was already half past midnight, making this an excellent time to go around my flat and test how wobbly the other door handles were, for comparison's sake. What I established was that a) No, they weren't, so there must be something wrong with the kitchen one, but b) Two of them were also stiff to turn. I naturally concluded that they were about to seize up, too.
There's something about anxiety that can create this domino effect; the more you seek reassurance, the more you find to worry about. And once anxiety gets a grip, there's just no reasoning with myself.
At this point, though, a modicum of sanity did prevail. I couldn't face spraying all of the door handles at this late hour, with the attendant dripping and mopping up. Besides, the resulting stink of WD-40 would hardly be conducive to a pleasant night's sleep.
To be on the safe side, I left every door ajar, for fear they would all somehow jam shut overnight, and re-located one set of screwdrivers to the hall, in case of future problems.
The next day I sprayed inside all of the handles and now every one turns beautifully.
This all happened recently, however, and I haven't yet dispelled this particular anxiety. I still open and close the doors in nervous anticipation of something going wrong...and, yes, the spare screwdrivers are still in the hall!