Q&A with a Valentine

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Taryn Valentine, a graduate teaching assistant at Oklahoma State University.

People only start to think about Valentine’s Day at the start of February. For Taryn Valentine, a graduate teaching assistant, it is always Valentine’s Day.

How is it having the last name Valentine?

“Most people don’t make the connection unless it is Valentine’s Day so I get it a lot the couple days before or after. They’re like ‘Oh my god, your name. Is Valentine’s Day your favorite holiday?’ which it is not but that’s fine. It is just kind of a mixed bag. Sometimes people make a big deal about it other times not so much. It is nice because everyone knows how to spell it.”

What do you think of Valentine’s Day?

“It was a holiday made by companies to sell us stuff but it still represents love and getting people candy and flowers. While it was created for kind of nefarious purposes, I think showing your loved ones, significant others that you care about is the true meaning.”

Do you have any weird stories related to your last name and the holiday?

“No, surprisingly I haven’t. I wish I had a cool story. It’s pretty mundane most of the time.”

When you were a little kid did you think it was cool to have a holiday named after you?

“Oh yeah. It was definitely cooler as a kid. My mom would go all out, get us big gift baskets of candy and make a big day of it. It was really fun as a kid. But, now the appeal has kind of worn off, it’s just another day. Just an excuse to buy 50 percent off candy the day after.”

Are there any weird inconveniences with the last name Valentine?

“No. Sometimes people think I’m named after the holiday which is odd. The name came first if I had to guess because the holiday was created around the 50’s. We didn’t name ourselves. I have grandparents with that name before then. But no inconvenience really. It is more of a handy thing because it is so easy to spell.

What does Valentine’s Day mean to you and your family?

“It just reminds me of family, that’s what Valentine’s Day really means to me. Really just showing people love. Showing people love in a public way, expressing that love you have to other people in a kinda cartoony hearty candy way.”