What started as an accident has turned into a sweet holiday tradition.
Jamal Hinton received a random text in 2016 inviting him to a Thanksgiving dinner with a family that wasn’t his. Four years later, he’s planning to share the dinner table yet again with Wanda Dench, the “grandma” who first invited him.
“Time kind of just flies, we don’t even realize how long we’ve been there. They’re really good company,” Hinton told TIME, describing their dinners together.
The unlikely pair’s interaction went viral when Hinton, then 17, shared a screenshot of their texts on Twitter.
Dench, thinking she had texted her grandson who had recently changed his phone number, invited Hinton to Thanksgiving dinner at her home in Mesa, Arizona.
Somebody grandma is coming in clutch this year!! Ayee!!! pic.twitter.com/QGrx83nHLl
— Jamal Hinton (@kingjamal08) November 15, 2016
Hinton was confused and asked for a photo of the person who had texted him. “I actually did think it was my grandma,” Hinton told The Arizona Republic in 2016.
When he saw the photo of a woman he had never met, he responded she wasn’t his grandmother but jokingly asked, “Can I still get a plate tho?”
Dench, doing “what grandmas do,” responded: “Of course.”
2016, 2017…… 2018 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/0ZNA54uGAS
— Jamal Hinton (@kingjamal08) November 23, 2018
We went to the pumpkin patch today 🎃 pic.twitter.com/91q9yMJAoa
— Jamal Hinton (@kingjamal08) October 26, 2019
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SOURCE: USA Today, Ryan W. Miller