7 Less-than-Romantic Valentine's Day Promotions

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You can't buy love, but on Valentine's Day marketers want you to try. And they're offering bizarre, if not terrible, deals to entice you. But trust us. Recipients of these gifts might say, "You shouldn't have" .... and mean it.

1. A cockroach namesake

Got a love that endures? One that can't be squashed? One that might skeeve out others? Then the Bronx Zoo suggests you name one of its 58,000 Madagascar hissing roaches after your beloved. It only costs $10!

2. Mix-and-match humiliation at IKEA

Single people hate IKEA, because 1) it's always full of fighting, but otherwise happy, couples, and 2) many of the "some assembly required" items have instructions that require at least two people to figure out. But this Valentine's Day, IKEA's making partnerless shoppers feel included ... by singling them out. If you tell the food court cashier you're single while buying some meatballs, you get a free drink and Princess cake. Because feelings can be eaten.

But wait, there's more! If you get another single person's phone number while shopping at IKEA, you'll get 50 percent off a KLIPPAN loveseat frame. After all, you don't need a full-sized couch in your bachelor(ette) pad.

3. Cubic zirconia stud earrings, 92 percent off

Groupon's offering a variety of Valentine's Day deals, from cupcakes to massages to helicopter tours. We love a bargain as much as the next person, but isn't giving a gift that's discounted 92 percent a little too cheap? These two-carat cubic zirconia earrings retail for $59.99, but now they're $5. Let's hope they're being paired with something else.

4. Tattoo removal

A diamond is forever, but a tattoo doesn't have to be. Vanish Laser Tattoo and Pigmentation Removal in Fort Worth, Texas is giving lovers of the regretfully inked a chance to win free tattoo removal for their partner. May the worst tattoo win!

5. A date at White Castle

Fast food places love getting extra cheesy on February 14. This year, White Castle continues its ironically celebrated Valentine's Day reservations. You and your sweetheart should book now if you want a sit-down slider dinner with white tablecloths, artificial flowers, romantic decor, free dessert, and a photographer to capture your special meal. Or if you're Harold and Kumar.

Another option: Be a tease and send a SliderGram e-card.

6. Liposuction, laser hair removal, lip injections, etc.

What do you get for the girl who has everything, except physical perfection? New hips, lips, or eyelashes for Valentine's Day! Samra Plastic Surgery in New Jersey isn't the only place offering cosmetic enhancement deals for Valentine's Day and marketing it as a way to "love yourself." If you look hard enough, you'll probably find a discounted facelift, too.

7. A tour of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant

You don't have to be flush with cash to take your sweetheart on an exotic trip for Valentine's Day. If you live near Greenpoint, Brooklyn, you can visit the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant for free. The scenic tour — available at 9:30, 11:00, and 1:00 — starts with a short overview of the wastewater treatment process and ends atop the plant's 120-foot digester eggs. Gotta go? Book your tickets now at events@dep.nyc.gov

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February 12, 2013 - 11:00am
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