From the "friend zone" to nearly two decades of marriage!
Willie Geist shared the cute story of how he and his wife, Christina, became more than friends in high school after being childhood pals for years.
“For people who don’t know, I met my wife in the sixth grade,” Willie told Hoda Kotb on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna. “We went to high school together, we went to college together, but we were buddies first. And I think even today, all these years later, that’s the foundation of our relationship is that we were always friends.”
As for how they moved out of the friend zone?
“I have a very romantic secret. I made out with her on the roof of my friend’s house with some warm Bud Light in the red-hot fall of 1991,” the Sunday TODAY host recalled with a laugh.
When Hoda asked if they held hands at school after that, Willie acknowledged that they might have kept things low-key for a while.
“I don’t know if I did that,” he said. “I was like the cool football guy who couldn’t be seen holding hands.”
Willie also said that after their moment together on the roof, he and Christina wondered at first whether their romance was the real deal.
“We were like, was that a thing, or was it just a moment? And it turned out it was a thing.”
It was definitely a thing; the high school sweethearts tied the knot in 2003 and today they have two children, Lucie Joy, 14, and George William, 12.
Hoda also laughed about her own past experiences in the friend zone.
“I spent most of my life in the friend zone, I feel like!” she joked. “I was always seen as the friend … I was always the one, when someone would approach me at a dance and you’re like, ‘It’s happening, it’s happening,’ and they’re like, ‘Hey, do you think your friend would dance with me?’”
She also shared an anecdote about playing spin the bottle with a group of friends in the seventh grade.
“It landed on a guy named Todd and I had never been more excited,” she recalled, “and do you know what he said? He said, ‘I think that’s going a little too far.’”
“Todd, Todd. Where’s Todd now? Where you at, Todd?” Willie joked.
“It was a bone crusher, but I do remember thinking in that moment, like, ‘Oh my God, I don’t think I fit. Like, I don’t know where my place is,’” Hoda said. “For everybody who’s ever been the ‘weird one,’ we know what you’re feeling!”