Dr. Charles Rod
Opposites Attract . . . Whatever!
1) It was 1999 when I was asked to my first prom. He was a shy, tall, slender, blond, and blue-eyed junior, who wore the most wonderful cologne, and also [8a] had a sports car to die for. With only two months before prom [8b], I decided we better get to know each other with a few dates. Trusting the cliché “opposites attract,” [11a] I believed we would get along just fine. I was wrong [7b]. What should have been dating heaven turned into dating hell!  [7a]
2) I, Emilia, was the poor, innocent victim of this three-month affair [8b]. Gary, my date, and his mother, Joanna, a teacher at our high school, were the villains. [3a] [7a]
3) [3b] This [8a] whole ordeal started in early March when one evening Gary, whom I hardly knew, called and asked me to the Junior/Senior High Prom [4a]. Since I was only in the 10th grade, I was honored and said “Yes” right away. The next day in school his mother talked to me, saying how excited Gary was for prom. I had to stop and think why she said that to me and Gary didn’t [6a]. Unfortunately [8a], I was too excited to ponder this odd occurrence for long. Big mistake!! [7a] 
4) [3a] Since we had never spoken but maybe once, I was thinking of what I could do to make us more comfortable around each other [4b]. Because I have some of the most beautiful trails around my place for riding, I decided to invite him over to my house to go horseback riding. It was going to be a wonderful day, and I was excited. The horses were all sleek, and there was so much wildlife to see. However [8a], what I looked forward to the most was being with this gorgeous guy and his incredible scent. [5a] I could literally smell him already. The day was going to be perfect! [6a]
5) [3c] Perhaps I set my sights too high [4b]. He came, we rode horses, and we had the worst time ever. He had nothing to say, and for the first time in my life, I didn’t either. There was something about him that made me so uncomfortable and caused me to clam up. We spent the whole day in silence, both too nervous to talk.[5b] I also [8a] didn't think that his cologne didn't mix all that well with horse. [7a] [6c]
6) [3b] The next day in school, Gary’s mother came to me and thanked me for having him over. [4a] She said that he had such a wonderful time and all that pathetic stuff that I knew wasn’t true. Because my parents brought me up to be polite to elders--particularly teachers [6b], I had to lie too. I couldn’t tell her I wished that I never had had that date, so I ended up telling her I had also had fun. [6c]
7) [3c] I decided that because I was pretty much stuck with him for prom and he did smell really good (when not around horses) , we would have to give dating another try. [4b] I asked him if he wanted to see a movie in a town fifty [11c] miles away. He said yes and that he would come and pick me up. I had a new interest in him as he pulled up to my house in his red sports car at seven o’clock in the evening. He had allowed us time for the hour’s drive to the movie theatre, which would be a good time to get to know each other. As we were driving, the car was filled with his glorious scent. [5a]
8) [3c] Unfortunately [8a], the radio was tuned into the worst rock music ever made, and halfway there, Gary swerved to hit and kill a gopher.[4a] As the wheel bounced over the body, I finally saw Gary smile for the first time. [7a] However [8a], that was all he did since he didn’t say a word the whole hour it took us to get to town for the movie. [5b] Perhaps hitting the gopher was message enough. [7a]
9) [3b] When we got to the theatre, [4a] Gary stood behind me, not going near his wallet. I couldn’t believe he made me pay! Because he sped the whole way, we sat in the theatre for a half hour before the movie even started. During this time [8b], we didn’t exchange more than three words. We didn’t even have any popcorn or pop! During the movie The Odd Couple (how ironic!) [9a], we were able to laugh out loud at the funny parts. However [8a], when the more embarrassing moments came, we went dead silent. In short [8a], during this whole two-hour movie, we didn’t say a single word to each other. [5b]
10) [3b] Back in his fancy car, [4a] the smell of his great cologne filled the air once again. He turned the radio to some romantic love station. There was love song after love song, a clear starlit night, his beautiful scent, nothing but him and me [5a]--and no attraction [6b]. We were as dead as the gopher. The only feeling we had was uncomfortable silence. [5b]
11) [3b] Most dates involve a mean of some kind, but not this one [8b]--fortunately. [4b] Instead of going out for a post-movie snack, we headed home. By the time we got to my place, I was ready to break down and cry. I didn’t realize until then what I had gotten myself into. This trip that should have taken five hours for driving, movie, meal, and the trip back, took only three. The whole date was an embarrassment, and I wanted to die. [6c]
12) [3e] Even though he smelled incredibly good (it seemed like the memory of his smell was always with me), [9b], I decided to give up the “getting-to-know each other” dates. [4b] They were just too hard on me--especially when his mother would always thank me and tell me how much fun he had. What a lie!  Who could actually have fun on a date like that! I would rather be “sloppin’ the hogs!”
13) [3d] I left it up to God to make my prom night a success. However, I don’t think that He exactly heard my pleas.[4b] Gary picked me up at my place looking and smelling great. His car, however, wasn’t so great because he didn’t even wash it! When he came to the door, he only said, “Hi, ready to go?” We never said a word the whole way to the school. [5a] What a wonderful beginning to a wonderful night.
14) [3b] Things should be different at the dance.[4b] I really loved to dance and had quite the moves. We danced six times in a row after the grand march, but only because the song was prom’s theme song, and it got played six times straight. Arms stretched out, two feet apart, we danced in silence. Needless to say [8a], to this day I cannot listen to the song, "Truly Madly Deeply." [11b] We never danced again during the whole night. [5a]
15) [3b] The after-prom [11d] party wasn’t much better [8c]. [4b] There were so many fun games to play and nifty foods and drinks to try, but we did absolutely nothing. We hardly talked, just moped around the school gym. The only way I could even remotely live through this was because he smelled so good. His cologne was almost hypnotizing, soft, and sweet. [5a]
16) [3b] The car ride home was absolutely horrible. [4b] We didn’t talk the whole fifteen-minute [11d] drive. When we got to my house, he said how he had such a fun time and then he left. Of course, I returned the lie.
17) [3d] From the day that he asked me to prom [8b] to the day when I realized I had made a major mistake, a little under three months’ time had passed. [4b] Even after the disaster, I would still meet him in the school hallway, hopefully to get a whiff of him, even though we never really talked to each other. But all that sniffing [8b] finally came to a blessed end.
18) [3b] I was in the hallway studying for a test when a gust of wind came around the corner carrying Gary’s scent.[4a] I looked around, and he was nowhere in sight, so I went back to studying. Then again [8a] I swore I could smell him. I looked around the corner, but still no Gary. As I was returning to my chair, the scent grew stronger. At my chair was when I was hit by lightning. I realized something, something so terrible. It wasn’t Gary that I was smelling, it was the hypnotizing, soft, and sweet essence of my new deodorant which I had purchased just three months back. I began to laugh hysterically. [5a] I had spent three months torturing myself with this dork because he smelled good, only to find out that it was I all along!
19) Wow!  Could I have had a worse time than this? Well, maybe , but I know I have learned something from the experience. First of all [8a], I know that I can never date a shy guy like that again. Secondly [8a], I learned that just because a man smells good isn’t cause enough to date him, especially if there’s a chance it’s not even him. Most importantly, I have learned to slow down on the freeway of love. 
1) Thesis statement is at the end of the essay, as is typical in many narrative essays. The story leads up to the overall lesson and point made. In this instance, the thesis is stated with humor that is consistent with the essay's contents. However, there is also an important point about the need to take relationships slowly. In this kind of essay, the conclusion and the thesis are one and the same.
2) The introduction not only sets the scene with time and place, but it also prepares readers for the story by telling them that it would be a "disappointed date" story.
3) Paragraphing helps readers keep track of the events.
a) Although this paragraph is only two sentences long, it is separated from the first paragraph since it changes focus from the date to the characters. It also adds emphasis to the words victim and villains.
b) Paragraph to indicate a change in time and place.
c) Paragraph to establish how reality meets imagination.
d) Paragraph to indicate next action in story.
e) Paragraph of transition--it summarizes the previous part of the story and moves to the next action.
4) Narrative essays also make use of topic sentences.
a) Sets time and place for the details in the paragraph.
b) Focuses on details that lead to the overall point in the story.
5) Narrative essays use details to create a picture for the readers.
a) Details are used to recreate the speaker's imagined date.
b) Details are used to represent the actuality. In this paragraph, the lack of details reflects how the date didn't meet expectations.
6) Narrative essays also contain analysis since the writer is making a point with the story.
a) Describes her thoughts at the time to give readers analysis.
b) Reflects back on the action to explain what the events mean.
c) Details make further analysis unnecessary.
7) Tone is the writer's attitude toward her or his content. This essay has a light-hearted tone that mixes with irony in that the writer's expectations were not met.
a) Reflects the light-hearted tone that characterizes the entire essay.
b) Reflects irony which also acts as a transition by providing responses to the idealism.
8) Transitions are necessary to keep the story moving and to tie the story together.
a) Use of transition word or phrase.
b) Repetition or synonym of key word or phrase.
c) Use of comparative form to compare action or object to previous action or object.
9) Use parenthetical elements to insert information that is an aside.
a) If the parenthetical element requires internal punctuation, put that punctuation inside the parenthesis.
b) Do not space after the opening parenthesis or before the closing parenthesis. Put the punctuation after the parenthetical element.
10) Use of intentional sentence fragment.
a) Always put commas and periods inside quotation marks.
b) Put titles of songs in quotation marks.
c) Write out numbers from one to 100.
d) Use a hyphen to connect two or more words used as one.
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