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Love At First Read

Once upon a time, this time last year to be exact, The Harbus played matchmaker to Marc Pierre (OG) and La Keisha Landrum. La Keisha, featured in the 2013 “Most Eligible” issue, caught Marc’s eye – and, eventually, his heart. Marc emailed La Keisha the weekend before the Africa Business Conference and invited her to check out the “panel” he organized.

Well, she did, and the rest is history. Now, one year later, Marc and La Keisha are happily joined at the hip, and (with a little encouragement from the Harbus’ editorial team) thought it only appropriate to Q&A each other, in a nod to the Q&A that kicked off their romance last year.

Marc: Hey sweetheart.


La Keisha: Hey honey.


Marc:  So, tell me, how many guys emailed you after the Harbus Most Eligible issue came out last year?


La Keisha: Honestly, I was shocked. I received six emails, which surprised me because I wasn’t expecting any response. The funniest part of the whole “Most Eligible” voting ballot to me was that not a single soul voted for me online. I was sure no one would email me after that.


Marc: Why did you finally decide to respond to my email when you read it?



La Keisha: A little detail you may not know is, I decided to respond to your email right after I read it. The reason it took me three days to respond to you is because I thought the email was spam, so I overlooked it for a few days before getting to it!


Marc: You told me you didn’t want to look me up because you wanted to be surprised when we met.  Did I look anything like you imagined?


La Keisha: I kind of figured that since the Harbus was the mutual friend that introduced us, I felt I could trust that you would be safe to meet. I assumed you were handsome (which you absolutely were/are!) because what guy has enough gusto to blind email someone and ask them on a date, totally undaunted? You had to be attractive, so I was fine not classcarding you. Plus, it added an extra dose of anticipation, which I thought would be good.


Did you look anything like I imagined? I don’t know, but what I saw in person was far better than anything I could have imagined.

Marc:  What was your impression of me after we hung out that night at the ABC conference after party?


La Keisha: I like him. A lot.

Marc: Did you have any expectations before we met?


La Keisha: That’s a great question. Funny that you’ve never asked me that before! I think the more expectations you have on a blind date, the more pressure it puts on you. I’m also from southern California, so I have an inherent relaxed demeanor that reads: go with the flow, so I just went into the situation with an open mind and no expectations.

Marc: How long after we met did you tell your mom and family about me?


La Keisha: Well, I mean, how many people that are featured in the “Most Eligible” issue receive the cutest email ever inviting her on a date, and have an amazing time the first time hanging out?! My point exactly. That never happens. So I called my sister that night and told her everything.


Marc: When did you know that there was potential for us to have a special relationship?


La Keisha: I asked you if you believe in love at first sight. Well, I believe in connections at first meet. When there’s a natural chemistry, there just is one. I think after spending time with you the first night, and talking for hours and hours and hours (did I say hours?) until the event was over, I was pretty sure something special was there.


Marc: Why do you think we are compatible?


La Keisha: Two reasons: because we’re committed to being compatible and because we are open to working on our flaws.

Marc: What do you think is the funnest thing we’ve done together so far?


La Keisha: Extend my stay in Kenya with you an extra week two hours before my international flight took off.

Marc: What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about me over the past year?


How amazing you are. You’re like fine wine and you get better with time. The more that I learn about you and the more time I spend with you, the more I think the world of you. Truly.


//// Now La Keisha quizzes Marc.


La Keisha: Sooo, when you saw my picture, what about my profile made you think

you should reach out?


Marc: I thought you were pretty, duhhhh….  I thought I had seen all the black women on campus so I was surprised that I didn’t recognize you so it made me more curious like “where have you been hiding”?  Of course then I learned you weren’t an HBS student and it made more sense.


Also I liked when you said that your deal breaker in a guy was that he has to be a Christian.  Moral compatibility is something that is very important to me.


La Keisha: What did you think about the fact that you didn’t know me and you

had no idea if I’d respond. Were you worried at all?


Marc: Not really, I mean I really had nothing at all to lose.  We didn’t know each other, in fact I had never seen you before.  So I saw only upside potential if you responded.  I did consult with my cousin Julia about what to say in my email though.


La Keisha: Love at first sight, do you believe in it?


Marc: Yeah I think its real for a small number of people on this Earth.  In the past, I’ve always been skeptical of love though so my mind wasn’t open to it until I met you.


La Keisha: There were eight other participants in the guide, what made you want to reach out to me. Oh wait, did you reach out to all of them?


Marc: No! I was reading the paper for entertainment purposes only! haha

You just blew me away with your looks and profile responses so I had to reach out to you.


La Keisha: Since you didn’t know me, an email was the only way to reach out.

Wait, no it wasn’t, did you think of some other way to reach out to me?


Marc: Hmm, I never thought about calling.  I don’t think I saw the number in the paper so it didn’t cross my mind.  Email is less formal I guess and it gives you time to decide how to respond.  Imagine how crazy it would be to get a random call from a guy you don’t know.  “Hi my name is Marc and you should date me cause I saw your picture in the valentines day issue”.  I don’t think that would’ve worked out too well lol


La Keisha: So, when we first met, you seemed to like me. You invited me to the

ABC after-party and we stayed up all night talking. What was your

favorite memory from the first time we met?


Marc: My favorite memory is that the party at around 9 but you didn’t show up until almost midnight.  I didn’t think you would show up because it was getting late.  You never actually made it into the party since we just chatted at the upstairs bar. I liked that it was a pretty intimate setting.


La Keisha: It has been a year since you sent that email. Any regrets? 🙂


Marc: None, it was perfect timing for us to meet in the second semester and we’ve done so much together over the past year.


La Keisha:  What have you enjoyed most about being together this past year?


Marc: Our time together outside of HBS because it’s an indication of what life will be after graduation in May.  When you came to Kenya during my internship last summer and we took a weekend getaway to Zanzibar was special.  Also meeting 65 of your family members in Southern California during christmas break!  Could’ve been overwhelming but it was so much fun and your family was so welcoming.


La Keisha: Any advice for RCs who are nervous about sending that first email?


Marc: Just do it.  Its easier than those awkward conversations about what section you’re in and what you did before b school that you’ll have when a bunch of HBSers are at a bar.


La Keisha: What do you think the next year will look like?


Marc: We’ll be doing some of the same things like traveling together and having fun with our families.  But I have a feeling that some major life events will take place that we will remember for a long time.


March 3, 2014
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