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A father planned a last-minute vacation for his sons. When his eldest son didn’t respond, he assumed he didn’t want to go. When the son finally responded, the situation quickly went downhill.
A Family Man
The original poster (OP), Mark, is a middle-aged man who is a father to four sons. Despite being a single father, Mark is a good father who enjoys spending time with his sons.
Father’s Thanksgiving Travel Plan
With Thanksgiving around the corner, Mark thought planning a family trip with him and his four sons would be a good idea. One day, Mark stumbled onto a great deal to travel to the Cook Islands in New Zealand.
A Last-Minute Deal to the Cook Islands
Mark quickly started prepping visas for his younger sons, ages 16, 11, and 8. Mark’s eldest son, Josh, was a sophomore in college, so he called and emailed him to tell him about the upcoming trip to the Cook Islands.
Reaching Out to the Eldest Son
Here’s where things headed south. Mark emailed Josh on a Friday and didn’t get a response. Mark assumed Josh was busy, so he called him on Sunday but had no luck getting ahold of him.
Now Mark had to make a tough decision. He could purchase Josh a ticket, but he was at risk that Josh either wouldn’t want to go or had a conflict with his schedule.
The Difficult Decision to Purchase Tickets
Since the travel deal would expire soon, Mark quickly bought tickets for himself and his three other sons on Sunday. He chose not to buy Josh a ticket, believing he wouldn’t go since he couldn’t get ahold of him.
Josh’s Late Decision
On Monday, Mark received a text from Josh telling him he wanted to go on the planned trip. Mark told Josh it was too late and that he’d already purchased the tickets. Mark also replied, “[N]ext time check your email or answer your phone.”
A Family Torn Apart
Josh couldn’t believe what he’d heard. Shortly after receiving the news, he told his mother, and things got tense within the family.
The Role of Texting in Communication
Mark was upset because he had tried to get ahold of Josh for the past few days with no luck. Josh’s excuse was that “most people communicate through text.”
Different Generational Communication
In response, Mark told Josh that “most people don’t get to go to Cook Islands.” Shortly after, Mark received a call from Josh’s mother. In support of her son, she pointed out that Gen Z communicates primarily through text.
A Mother’s Support
One commenter stated, “It almost seems like OP didn’t want this child to go. Do all the kids have the same parents?”
Leave a Message
“If you cannot bear to text, it’s not hard to leave a message. Americans have somehow managed to do it for fifty-plus years, long before cells were available,” one passionate commenter stated.
Navigating Family Dynamics
Another commenter sided with Josh and said, “One email and one phone are the only chances your college-age son gets to go on a family vacation? This is incredibly sad.”
A Missed Opportunity for Togetherness
Josh justified his stance, stating that he would’ve responded if Mark had texted instead. However, Mark was upset, believing his son should’ve been more receptive to other communication methods.
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