For the seventh year in a row, Wanda Dench and Jamal Hinton are getting together for Thanksgiving. It’s a holiday tradition shared by two families, but the world has been a part of it since the beginning.
If you haven’t heard of Dench and Hinton before, you’re missing out on a holiday tale that sounds like the plot of a movie. Netflix actuallythey develop the story into a film.
It all started in 2016, when Dench and Hinton first connected – by chance – via text.
Dench thought she was texting her grandson about her Thanksgiving plans, but accidentally texted Hinton, a complete stranger. At the same time, he did not behave like a stranger, but jokingly asked if he could still join the celebration, even though Dench was not his grandmother. And Dench assured him that she would bring him a plate.
Hinton took a screenshot of the text and it went viral. That Thanksgiving, he drove from Tempe, Arizona, to Mesa to celebrate with Dench and her family.
He was just a teenager at the time, now 22, and has shared their Thanksgiving plans every year since. And every year the story goes viral. Hinton and Dench, 65, even added Hinton’s girlfriend, Mikaela, to their guest list.
Hinton now has a huge social media following with 142,000 followers on Instagram. But he made fans of the tradition wait on Tuesday night when he finally revealed that he and Dench are dating for the 7th year in a row.
“To answer all your questions, yes, the 7th Annual Thanksgiving is on! See you Thursday!” he wrote shared a photo of him and Dench.
While their annual reunion is what gets the most attention, Dench and Hinton also hang out on other days. In fact, accompanied her when she got her first tattoo in September.
She explained the choice of tattoo in a tweet: “I have three shooting stars. Each one represents my guardian angels in heaven—my husband who stood for integrity, my mother who was brave, and my father who was all about unconditional love.”
Hinton said he had a great time playing together.
“Go congratulate Wanda on her FIRST TATTOO!! We had a blast with her!”