Free Pizza and Community College

Last week, our youngest daughter Nora, now 15, approached me and asked if she could have some money for some food.

Fifteen feet behind her was our soon to be renovated kitchen which had food that had already been purchased with after tax dollars and delivered to her house free of charge by her parents.

It’s what we do. Mostly.

“Yeah, but I don’t want THAT food. I want some pizza.”

Now, Nora is entered in my phone as the contact Nora Like I’m Totally Not Even Kidding and as you can imagine she was Totally Not Even Kidding about being hungry. She is a very active athlete playing volleyball almost year round. (Dad brag – she’s pretty good – made second team All District in a 5A conference as a sophomore playing a new position. End of Dad brag)

I replied, “Go ahead and get a pizza then.”

“You mean, you’ll pay for it?!” (Many things excite Nora and she was charged up about this pizza possibility)

“No. But that shouldn’t stop you.”

“But I don’t want to pay for it.”

Enter *blank stare with shoulder shrug from Dad”

“FINE!” She bounds upstairs none too pleased.

About thirty minutes later, a steaming hot pizza is delivered from Domino’s.

My Dervish Whirling brought the pizza inside and took it to the kitchen table where she was studying with her current Never Knew What Hit Him. (He’s a nice young man. Quiet. Enter #OppositesAttract)

“You didn’t use my debit card to pay for that did you?” I asked eyebrows raised.

“NO, Dad. I paid for it.”

“With what?”

“Christmas money from Mimi!” (Michele’s mom)



Then I go for the brass ring…

“Can I have a slice?”

Never Knew What Hit Him laughs and on my part, I like him just a wee bit more. And I mean just a fraction of a wee bit.

Nora shoots back “NO! I bought this with my own money, DAD!”

Now you’re probably thinking – not a bad little story and that Nora must be a pistol.

She is. Like I’m totally not even kidding.

It gets better.

This week the Dervish Whirling approaches me, still at my desk that looks into the same food filled kitchen, and says, “Um…after practice tonight…some of us are going to Salad Works…..”


“Umm. OK. Well I need money.”


“And since I paid for my pizza last week, you need to give me money so I can eat after practice tonight!”

“I really don’t follow that logic…” The logic was that the money she used to pay the pizza was essentially a loan to me that apparently was now due.

Eye rolling “Whatever!” was the reply.

I mean I caved and gave her some money. Can’t have the Dervish Whirling sitting in a Salad Works starving staring at all of her teammates mooching lettuce for crying out loud.

As mom used to say “I’m stupid but I ain’t no fool.”

I mean I held out as long as I could in order to maintain domestic tranquility which promotes my general welfare.

Remember this as we go down the path of making community college free.



Chris Saxman

About Chris Saxman

Father of four, small business leader, retired politician, and Executive Committee member and former Chairman of an international trade association, Chris Saxman delivers strategy and insight as a political coach and keynote speaker. Contact Chris.

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