When Jamal Hinton, then 17 years old, received a random invitation to a woman’s Thanksgiving dinner last year, he certainly couldn’t have predicted if he’d ever see her again, much less return the following year.
And yet one year later it appears that the two have established an annual tradition that got its start in a bizarre way.
After inadvertently being invited to Thanksgiving dinner last year, Hinton was invited again for this year’s turkey dinner.
Once strangers, the two now consider each other extended family.
2016-2017 thanksgiving pic.twitter.com/CpIgr9KapA
— Jamal Hinton (@kingjamal08) November 24, 2017
Last year a screenshot of a text Hinton received from an unknown number was shared on Twitter. It was an invitation to a Thanksgiving dinner. The teen replied to the text asking who it was and the woman, Wanda Dench, replied, “Your grandma.”
Not convinced it was his grandmother, Hinton asked for a picture.
“I really thought it was my grandma so I had to ask for a picture to make sure,” he told BuzzFeed last year.
Dench accidentally texted Hinton and invited him to her Thanksgiving dinner.
Somebody grandma is coming in clutch this year!! Ayee!!! pic.twitter.com/laXmX6rotA
— Certo Nego (@RonaldDoee) November 15, 2016
Dench complied and sent Hinton a selfie, and he immediately knew it was not his grandma.
Despite knowing the invitation was probably not meant for him, Hinton sent Dench a photo of himself and asked if he could still take her up on the offer.
“Of course you can. That’s what grandmas do…feed every one.”
Since the two met last year they have remained in contact.
Since the hilarious mix-up the two have stayed in contact with each other and talk about once a week.
“For him to continue with the relationship, I’m just really pleasantly surprised,” Dench told The Arizona Republic. “We’re more of extended family and, best of all, friends.”
This year Dench invited Hinton again and, though the teen was also invited to his real grandmother’s for Thanksgiving dinner, he still made time for Dench and her family.
“She was so nice and welcoming last year, I said I would be there,” Hinton said to KPNX.
As for next year’s plans, Dench said that Hinton is always welcome to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner at her house.