Thursday, January 22, 2009

Conflict Zone: Valvoline-gate

I'm certain there are those of you out there who think and/or believe that since my husband and I are hundreds of miles away from one another, we only speak words of love, kindness and longing to and for one another. Well, let me slap you into reality. *grin* While we DO certainly do those things...there is still an element of "realness" to our odd long-distance marriage at times. And when I say "realness" "CONFLICT." We are not argue-ers by nature. But here is a recent going-on, just so you can all know and be assured that we are 100% still normal...I like to call it, "Valvoline-gate."

Setting the stage: So, I'm 5,000 miles over an oil change. I knew I needed one, but the money just never seemed to be there. Before Joshua left, he gave me a coupon book from Valvoline with some great money-savers. So, one day, I decide to use it. I pull into Valvoline, and the conversation goes something like this:

Me: Hi! I'd like to use this coupon for an oil change! (It was a regular oil change and 2 wipers for $5 off...I THOUGHT this was a good deal)

Greasy Valvoline Guy: Sure. (Puts the coupon into the computer) Hey, you don't look like Joshua Carr. (Good thing, huh, ladies?!)

Me: Nope. That's my husband. He's gone with the military and so he told me to use these coupons.

Greasy Valvoline Guy: Oh. Where'd he get sent? (Fishing for my vulnerabilities here....waiting to attack....)

Me: Blah, blah, blah...filling in the blanks with the details...

Greasy Valvoline Guy: (Preying on my vulnerabilities...sees his chance...) Hey, actually, you'd save MORE money if you went with this other coupon...

Me: Save more money? Sign me up! My husband would be proud!!!

We now commence the oil change and stop the mindless banter.

Ok...oil change over.

Greasy Sneaky Stinker of a Valvoline Guy: That'll be $79.95

Me: CLANNNNNNNNNNNNKKKKK....... (the sound of my jaw hitting the floor as I reluctantly hand over my debit card....)

We exit Valvoline now because the setting has become dark and ominous...

I now realize on my way home from my $80 oil change in which my car now has oil running through it that has been blessed by Jesus himself (which is pretty sure why I think it was so expensive...), that I should probably call my husband and alert him to this nonsense before he sees it for himself online. (This would be me attempting to confess before I get in major trouble! *laughing*)

I'll let you be a fly on the wall for THIS conversation:

Me: Honey...(trepidation fills my voice...) the guys at Valvoline took me for a ride.

Joshua, my darling husband: How expensive of a ride?

Me: $80 ride?

Joshua, my patient, loving husband: WHAT?!?! What did you buy??

Me: Nothing! Just an oil change and the guy's firstborn child. (Just kidding about that part) Well, and two wipers.

Joshua: So what did you buy?!

Me: (Still not apparently understanding the question)...Why do you always think I'm buying something? I'm telling you what happened...

The button pushing begins, and the argument ensues...

And so it goes. *grin* What I thought would be a frugal move on my part to save money blew up in my face. And my "confession" was met with major frustration...on both of our parts. The evening ended with both of us not speaking until the next day.

What ends up being the really positive part of this story is that even though we may not be together physically right now, we are beginning to understand how deeply important it is to communicate clearly with one another. We are also starting to have greater insight as to what words, non-verbals, etc. will really push one or the other over the edge. So often, I think, when couples disagree, it can be very healthy! The outcome, and the struggle to get to the understanding there, is worth its weight in gold. When we acknowledge those areas that we might be fearful of in our own lives and reactions in conversations, we can begin to work through them together. What seems frustrating and painful in life typically ends up being something beautiful and worthwhile in the eyes of the Lord.

And aren't all of our relationships worth that?

Colossians 3:12-14, 4:6

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you maybe have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity...Let your conversations be always full of grace...

What would our relationships with others look like if we lived this out...? I bet it'd be darn good.

*Wishing you healthy-conflict and grace-filled outcomes...*


  1. Oh my goodness something SO similar happened to me a couple of weeks ago...before we left for our 30 hour trek to Utah I went to Saturn to have the oil changed...when I called they said it would be $35.00...perfect! So I signed up...well I made sure that included filling the tires b/c our Onstar report told me that they were the day we are leaving I take it in and call the gal to inform her I would be 5 minutes late & I was sorry but I was completely stressed trying to get ready for the excursion and so she went over all the services I had wanted...and I while I was in a panic I admit I wasn't completely listening b/c I knew I just wanted what was included in the $35 package....and I heard her say tires and so I said back yes I definitely need my tire filled! So I get there and am there for stinking TWO HOURS....well I am finally called to the counter and the lady hands me a bill for $70!!!!! I freak out and start to have a panic attack...I tell her I am absolutely not paying anything more than $35 because that is what I agreed too. So the sneaky service lady gets called to the front and I get flustered and tell her that I am not playing and she said that I agreed to a rotate and balance and I said I absolutely did not, and she said she wasn't taking it off, and I said well then you have forever lost this customer's service and referrals. So she tells me that on the phone I agreed to it, and so I told her she completely took advantage of the fact that I was stressed on the call and she knew it. Well that got her and while she didn't completely take it off she did take the bill down to $45....still wasn't happy, but I will not go back....I HATE sneaky folks. The receptionist gave me the number of the manager to call and tell him my story...but I have yet to do that...I should though you just cannot do that to folks!!!

  2. P.S. my motto is and always has been to forgive quickly and always because I want to be forgiven....thank you for posting that!

  3. Okay Meg- Since you are supposed to get one every 5,000 miles; let me help you out. There's a place right by Roberts. It's on Graham next to Taco Bell. It's Texas Oil Lube. you could go after work. I have ALWAYS gone there; solo; me being female because that's where my Mom goes. Low and behold...Sean and his family also go, the owner Dave knows us all VERY well over the years; he even helped us with ideas for our honeymoon. He's a GREAT guy; he's recommended other places for me to go where guys don't take advantage of us vulnerable women. Mention the military and that I recommended you and by golly if he doesn't give you a good deal; I would be shocked...he'd probably even give it to you for free. And, there's always a coupon for $4.00 off if he doesn't give you a deal. I will even go with you too! And, it's really only 10 minutes long...if that!

  4. Valvoline cost me $800 bucks once, when they royally screwed up my car. I should have taken them to small claims court but I was too young and naive. So yeah...I boycott Valvoline. Never had a problem at LubeStop (yet).

  5. I also had an $80 oil change once... Darn it. I now refuse to go anywhere except that Texas place too. Though I go to the one in Firestone Park... and I don't look a lot like Matt Evans either and for some reason they like to point that out to me too! LOL. Hope you guys are doing well.

  6. The greasy oil guy sounds like a total SHMUCK! But I just wanted to say I LOVE YOUR Colossians 3:12-14, 4:6 fact I love it so much that that's totally one of the readings at my wedding :)

    Try to act surprised...hahaha

    You are amazing people, Josh and Meg (and Caleb). Keep on trucking and be strong--you've almost made it a start your countdown...Love you!!

  7. Meg- Sean and I went this passed weekend to get the oil changed at was $35. (Let me know when you are close for an oil change and I will have my mom look for the coupon in the JB clipper)

  8. Meg, i've been keeping up with the blog and don't usually chime in because I'm not super close to you so hearing words of encouragement from me could be the last thing you really want to hear. BUT, this time I had to share some knowledge...Ganley Ford in Barberton has a $4.95 oil change, once you finally leave it's actually around $12.95 BUT you don't have to wait in the car and there's free popcorn and a clean waiting area with a huge screen TV and great soft cushy chairs to wait in.