Grandmothers aren’t always savvy in the ways of social media, but an Arizona woman’s wrong-way text has made her an internet star.
Wanda Dench thought she was sending a Thanksgiving text invite to her grandson, but the teen who received it was a total stranger.
Jamal Hinton, a high school senior, was in class earlier this week when the invitation showed up on his cell phone. He didn’t recognize the phone number, so he wrote back asking who sent it.
“Your grandma,” Dench wrote back. “Grandma?” Hinton replied. “Can I have a picture?”
That’s strange, Dench thought. But she dutifully took a selfie of herself at work and texted it, she told CBS affiliate KPHO-TV.
And this is where things got very humorous.
“You not my grandma,” Hinton said. “Can I still get a plate tho?”
Dench was embarrassed at her mistake, but quickly recovered.
“Of course you can,” she wrote back. “That’s what grandmas do … feed everyone.”
Dench is white. Hinton is African American.
The teen took a screenshot of the conversation and posted it on Twitter, where it’s been retweeted more than 150,000 times.
“With all the Donald Trump (stuff) going on and the racial comments going on, it’s kind of good to see there’s still good people out there,” Hinton told the station.
Dench had no clue Hinton had posted their exchange online.
Then her phone blew up. In just a few days, she received more than 600 text messages and dozens of voicemails because her phone number was included in the screen shots.
She’s had to change her number.
“At first I thought, ‘Well, this is annoying,’ until I started reading some of the people’s texts,” she said.
Strangers wrote, “Thank you so much, you’re such a kind person to let this young man into your home,” she recounted.
“I thought ‘Oh, my gosh! I think this may be a little more important than what I thought it was.’
“Cause of the racial tension that’s in the country,” she said.
Dench and Hinton met in person Wednesday night at her Mesa home. She formally invited him and his family to Thanksgiving dinner. He accepted.