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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin Schilaty

Cafe Rio Overload

I went to the Cafe Rio here in Washington with my brother Jay and his wife Audrey on Tuesday. They had never been before which blew me away because I've probably been about 80 times (or maybe more). When we walked in I pointed to one of the servers and said to Jay and Audrey, "I swear there is a girl who likes like her in every Cafe Rio." Jay replied, "Are you saying that all Mexicans look the same?" I brushed off being accused of racism and we got in line.

When we approached the lady I had pointed out she looked at me strangely and said, "You look so familiar which is weird because I'm not from here." I asked her where she was from and when she said Arizona I said, "No way! I knew you looked familiar!" It turns out that she works at the two Cafe Rios I frequent in Gilbert and she was even working at the Cafe Rio in Chandler I stopped by three weeks ago. She's in Washington for a few weeks to train the staff here and was so surprised to see a familiar face. I explained the conversation I'd just had with Jay and Audrey and we both laughed that we'd recognized each other.

I then realized that I go to Cafe Rio way too much if one of the servers recognizes me out of the thousands of customers she sees every week. Evidence that I eat out way too much.

I went back to Cafe Rio yesterday. Socorro, one of my former students, works there. She's one of the students who would write down funny things I'd say in class (you can read them here). She even referenced some things I'd said that another student wrote down (which you can read here). When she saw me she said, "Do you eat anywhere else, Schilaty? I feel like I see you here every day." We had a good laugh reminising about our days in high school together--me the teacher, her the student. I then overheard the worker from Arizona say to her coworker as she pointed in my direction, "That's the second person I've seen here who looks familiar." I then chimed in and said, "Actually, I'm the same guy from two days ago." We then excitedly talked about how fun it was to run into each other and how great the weather is in Arizona. She also loved that I could pronounce her name correctly. It's Perla. And I got a picture of her and Socorro because I'm a creeper like that.

Note: I first heard the term "creeper" when I was teaching high school in 2008.

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