I was pleased to (belatedly, I gather) receive a wedding invitation from my former roommate Dennis Loxley. Ever since his falling out with my other roommate Karl over the film Mighty Ducks 3, I’ve tended to stay closer to Karl (who I roomed with for two years afterwards and served as an usher at my wedding). I talk to Dennis irregularly, despite the fact that he actually lives only an hour or so away from me.
Anyhow, the surprise wasn’t that I was invited to his wedding, it’s that I was invited to the wedding of Dennis Allen Hobbes rather than Dennis Alexander Loxley. I figured that maybe I remembered his middle name incorrectly, but I certainly knew his last name. I’ve known a couple people that changed their name (even later in life) to take the name of their stepfather or that gets caught in some family split. But a quick accessing of some DMV records indicated that I had not remembered his middle name incorrectly. Oddly, the minor change to his middle name was more odd than the major change of his last name.
I had more or less figured it out before I brought up the subject with a mutual friend. Dennis’s relationship with his parents had always been rough. The more I thought about it, the more I figured that he wanted to change his name either to sever contact with his family, get a new start, or both. Changing his name to do so is very much the sort of thing that Dennis would do.
Apparently he only legally changed the name in the last few weeks. He gets married in January. One thing that I find curious, and I’ll ask him about this when I talk to him next, is why he didn’t just take his wife’s surname. I’m not sure whether or not she’s going to take his name, though the kind of girl that I figured he would end up marrying is the kind that would.
I almost asked myself what name I might take if I saw a reason to change it (other than taking my wife’s name, which I would have considered)… but then I realized that I blog under a pseudonym so that more-or-less answers that question, now doesn’t it?