I have never been very enthusiastic about Valentine’s Day. Before you write me off as a misanthrope or a bitter old maid, let me assure you: I’m not that old. Just bitter. And I do like people, for the most part.

Also, in second grade I found out that the holiday has its possible origins in the decapitation of a guy called St. Valentine (it was an act of martyrdom). Even though I was never the brightest of children, I could still recognize the dissonance between the holiday’s ghastly origins and the current mawkish manner in which we celebrate it.

So, ever since the days of mandatory missives to every single classmate in elementary school came to an end, I have pretty much let Valentine’s Day slide by without much consideration. I never really embraced Singles Awareness Day either; it’s just sad. However, because the world has been especially gloomy lately—what with the global unrest, economic stagnation, and Mayan calendar soon coming to an end and all—I need a cause to celebrate. So I’m declaring February 14th Sriracha Sauce Day in my household. I hope you’ll join me.

I’m not trying to steal Valentine’s Day’s thunder or counter red candy wrappers with red hot sauce by making Sriracha Day fall precisely on February 14th. It’s just that the numbers are all pointing to the 14th of February as the most opportune day to celebrate Sriracha, and numbers never lie.

Proof: February 14 is numerically written as 2 and 14, and 2 + 14 = 16.

If you write out the alphabet and assign each letter a number starting from A = 1, B = 2, etc., S-R-I-R-A-C-H-A becomes 19, 18, 9, 18, 1, 3, 8, 1.

Then if you do:

19 + 18 + 9 -18 – 1 – 3 – 8 x 1, you also get 16!

So that’s why February 14 is Sriracha Day. Not because I’m envious of happy couples on Valentine’s Day. No, not at all. Just because Sriracha sauce makes everything taste better, even chocolate. Not to mention it doesn’t distort our conceptions of love. And it probably made David Tran, the Vietnamese American who owns Huy Fong foods, the most visible brand of Sriracha sauce, a millionaire. So it creates value! It creates wealth! It also spreads cultural and culinary love—you can find it on sushi and tacos, as well as in your pho–not just some commercialized form of love where a girl can be expected to be showered with balloons and rose petals! That’s way too cheesy for my post –Feminist Ryan Gosling awakening. I prefer spicy to cheesy. Spicy cheese is okay though.

Aside from taking sriracha with all my meals, I’ve decided to write a haiku to sriracha to commemorate the occasion. (This might actually be a senryu though; I’m not sure. No one ever taught me the difference.) Anyway, here it goes:

Oh my sriracha

Drizzled all over my food

Providing solace

Haikus(/senryus) are the best, right? Who would want to be wooed with a sonnet on February 14th anyway? Nope, not me.

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