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Ah, how sweet it looks, but does it work? SANDRA SNYDER WALL TO WALL

“Caution,” the e-mail read. “The attached dismembered image is graphic and not intended for younger viewers.”

Stalwartly, I proceeded, empathetically surveying the horror as I read the accompanying epistle, which was equal parts diatribe and lament.

A perky new coffeepot, it seemed, had met an untimely end through no fault of the owner/writer, who happened to be my sister and who also happened to be doing nothing more than gripping the handle as she rinsed the pot on the fateful night previous.

Most unfortunately, that’s when the handle cut and ran, divorced its glass-carafe partner of not even two months. Talk about hanging in there, bub.

Behold, a digital image of the pitiful plastic absconder, along with a call for suggestions from the e-mail recipients, who already knew full well what was about to happen.

For starters, we’d all add another brand name to our, um, “crap” list, then the company would be duly apprised of the domestic non-tranquility. It’s best to go all gangbusters only when other avenues have been exhausted, so I’ll withhold the company’s name on faith it will right this wrong.

Also, my sister and I accept a bit o’ blame, at least insofar as we have learned the hard way yet continue to sport rose-colored blinders while shopping. By this I mean we choose our domesticities – coffeepots, toasters, fry pans, you name it – mostly on looks.

Mind if I tell you about my current coffeepot? It’s buttercup yellow, completely cute, and I especially love when guests notice it and say things like, “Cool. A yellow coffeepot.”

But I like it more when they accept a glass of wine over a cup of coffee because then I’d be exposed. Turns out my endearing yellow pot makes less-than-endearing coffee. Sometimes the thing shuts off mid-cycle for no apparent reason, and, though the manual promises three hours of hot java, I get 13 minutes on a good day.

But if I give up on the thing to buy something sadder but wiser, I’ll skew the whole countertop harmony. The cherry-red toaster sitting next to the lime-green spatulas standing next to the hot-pink faux-wooden spoons sharing quarters with the crystal-blue basting brushes surely won’t play well with just any common newcomer.

You understand. Or maybe you don’t. But please know that I – and people of my ilk – not only know better but have numerous reformers on our trails. My own mother still keeps watch, when at my place, for anything “normal.”

I am ill, I balk, while repeatedly marveling at how coffee – actually all kinds of food and drink – always tastes better at her place, even as I cultivate my prowess as an other-life chef.

My gas oven gets blamed when cookies come out not quite right, though she who brought me into this world, and taught me all she knows, insists that the more seasoned and scratched-up the pan the better the output. Meaning: Fie on the specially (and expensively) coated ones that woo me. Too, I moan to high heaven when key ingredients cook too quickly or unevenly in my stylin’ cast enamel, though she of the trusty (and plain) Farberware, never has to tell of such travails.

Eventually, my kind will stop judging books by their covers, wising up once and for all to the value of the classics.

A hard-backed, just-blue Jane Austen has it all over a modern-day middling novel dolled up by grand graphic artistry. Same, obviously, goes for those housewares Janes, a plain old warhorse percolator, say, over an all-style, no-substance little yellow number.

The writing’s on the wall. Read it and weep. But, my how you’ll grow.

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