Update: Wanda Dench and Jamal Hinton celebrated their seventh Thanksgiving together this year. Read an update about their yearslong friendship.
PHOENIX — File this under random, hilarious and adorable: After accidentally being included in a grandmother’s group text, a Phoenix teen is invited to her family’s Thanksgiving.
Jamal Hinton, a 17-year-old from Phoenix, posted screenshots of the text conversation to Twitter. After his best friend shared them, too, the story went viral.
On Tuesday, Hinton received a text from an unknown number inviting him to Thanksgiving dinner at the sender’s house. When Hinton asked who it was, she replied, “Your grandma” with the grandmother emoji.
“I actually did think it was my grandma,” Hinton told The Arizona Republic, so he asked the texter to send a photo.
When she sent a selfie of herself at work, he realized she most definitely was not his grandmother. “You not my grandma,” he replied, with a surprised emoji, crying-laughing emoji, dead emoji and a selfie of his own.
“Can I still get a plate tho?” he added.
“Of course you can, that’s what grandmas do … feed everyone,” she replied, with a cake emoji.
Surprised by the funny situation and the sender’s sweet response, he tweeted screenshots with the caption, “Somebody grandma is coming in clutch this year!! Ayee!!!”
More than 290,000 people have liked his tweet, many commenting about how cute the exchange was.
It turns out “Grandma” is Wanda and she lives in Mesa, according to her 24-year-old grandson, Brandon Burgoyne.
Burgoyne said Wanda is asking people not to use her last name — Hinton forgot to remove her phone number from the screenshots, so she received about 600 texts in a few hours from people asking if they, too, could be invited.
Wanda was understanding about the slip-up and changed her phone number Tuesday night.
“This has come out of nowhere for us, and it’s funny to my family,” Burgoyne said. “We’re also welcoming Jamal and his parents to Thanksgiving. My grandma’s got a big heart, and said she wouldn’t want him to be away from his family on Thanksgiving.”
Hinton said he had planned to spend Thanksgiving with his own family, but now he will do both.
“(My grandma) and my mother both always welcomed any of my friends or anybody who wanted to come to our holidays,” Burgoyne said, “so it’s not a surprise that now Jamal is coming.”
Follow Kaila White on Twitter: @kailawhite.