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Posted at 3:04 PM ET, 02/10/2011

Valentine's don'ts: Misguided ways to say 'I love you'

By Lavanya Ramanathan and Fritz Hahn

At the Museum of Crime and Punishment this Valentine's, lucky couples will be handcuffed to each other. Almost like on a chain gang. (The Washington Post)

As we cover every possible way to celebrate Valentine's Day, a few feeble, ill-thought-out attempts to cash in on the holiday have crossed our desks.

We laughed. We groaned. We shuddered. And now, we're sharing. From our inboxes -- three ideas that will practically ensure you're single next year.

What could possibly be more romantic this Valentine's than learning about people who were murdered by their lovers and exes? Yup, that's what you and your sweetie will do -- while handcuffed to each other -- if you attend the National Museum of Crime and Punishment's "Crimes of Passion" event, beginning Friday. Couples can also take home a pair of souvenir handcuffs, and that's not the only show of poor taste. As of Wednesday, the museum was advertising the event on its Web site with an image of Nicole Brown Simpson and OJ Simpson. (The image has since been removed.)

"Men have it easy on Valentine's Day- they can buy flowers, candies and jewelry, but what can a women get for their man?" the press release for Pantygram asks before providing the perfect answer: You can mail them a red thong. And your itchy polyester token of affection (just $24.95) starts casting its spell as soon as he opens the dainty package, because, as the Pantygram Web site explains: "The best part is he has no idea this romantic gift is from YOU!!" That's right, it's anonymous. Panty spam in your mailbox -- total aphrodisiac.

And ladies, be honest with us: If you got an invitation to a party that started with the line "Girls, come dressed to impress in a sexy red dress and we're buying your first cocktail!" how many seconds would it take before you hit 'Delete'? It sounds like a bad come-on Valentine's Day card written by Charlie Sheen's entourage. But no, it's an invite to a Saturday-night "Valentine's Day party for the singles" at that well-known romantic destination Fado. There will be a DJ, dancing and, if you're lucky, Fado suggests "one of the lads will get your second" drink. Doors open at 9 p.m. Don't all show up at once.

By Lavanya Ramanathan and Fritz Hahn  | February 10, 2011; 3:04 PM ET
Categories:  Valentine's Day 2011  
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