Dear Claire,

I play golf with a friend once a month. He’s a pretty nice guy and an excellent golf partner, but his political views are basically the exact opposite of mine. I try to avoid talking politics with him in an effort to keep our golf games light and friendly, but he has recently decided to run for local government. His platform represents everything I disagree with, which he knows, but he has appealed to me as a friend and asked I put one of his campaign signs in my lawn. How do I tell him no without losing him as a golf buddy and friend?

All the best,

Political in Portland


Dear Pip. Dear, sweet, simple Pip.

My lean little lunchmeat, the answer to your question is so easy, I should probably let you figure it out for yourself! Wouldn’t that be a hoot, watching as you ponder. Ponder, my olive loaf, ponder up, up and away! But oh no! You’ve pondered too hard, and now there are tears. I’m so sorry, my sweet cellophane bag of cold cuts, I shouldn’t have played with you like that. Dry your tears and come here to me – I will comfort you with vanilla-scented hugs and some soft James Taylor-based humming. Feel better? Wonderful.

Pip, you and your golfing chum are both hoping that friendship overrides politics – adorable. I won’t deny that it does, but mostly because I cannot handle another breakdown from you right now. I’m simply all hummed out. However, do you have a guess as to what overrides friendship? Before the tears welling up in your eyes spill over yet again, I will tell you: marriage. I assume you are married, Pip? Any man who golfs monthly is certainly looking to get away from the ol’ ball and chain, amirite? Bitches be shopping and whatnot! Well, if someone you were married to – for instance, your wife – were running against your friend for the same office, he would certainly understand why you couldn’t display his probably very well-designed yard sign. Now, your wife doesn’t have to actually win the election – considering her feminine unpredictability and monthly ‘incidents’, it’s probably best that she doesn’t. But the mere act of running against him would make this whole conundrum a non-issue – how could he ask you, his good buddy, to campaign against your own wife on your own marital lawn. And the best part, my sweet salami, is that should your friend dare to bring up this conflict of interest during one of your monthly golfings, you can place the blame fully on your disloyal bride! “Oh, I don’t know where she gets these crazy ideas, friend,” you could say, shaking your head as you take a few dramatic practice swings. Presto, change-o – friendship saved, yard sign moot, drama avoided!

Now seeing as though you are such a sensitive man, Pip, there exists a strong possibility that you have not fully established your dominance over the Mrs. If I’m correct and you haven’t shown her who wears the plaid golfing pants in your marriage, she may refuse to take on your friend in the election. She may say she’s “busy”, or “not interested”, or “leave me alone, I’m taking my insulin”. Don’t despair, my pretty pansy Pip, she doesn’t even need to know she’s a candidate! Sign her up and run away! If she does happen to find out, simply tell her that local elections are much like the nominations of high school homecoming courts. She’ll be so distracted by the possibility of a tiara, she won’t even think to look into the electoral process. It’s a win-win for all! Unless, of course, your wife does indeed win the election. Then prepare yourself for a full term of white wine caucuses and pumpkin spice public forums.

Hit a field goal for me during your next golf, Pip!

Cordially, Claire

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