New Year, New Couple

Photo provided
  • Nancy and Barry Solomon
  • First Connection: February 18, 2001
  • Wedding Date: July 28, 2002
  • Venue: Green Valley Country Club, Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania
  • Residence: Baltimore
  • Favorite Activity: Spending time outside, dining out, binge-watching shows, traveling, spending time with family and friends

“You really need to meet Barry,” Nancy Solomon’s friend Amy Rose insisted.

Nancy, who had spent “another New Year’s Eve,” as she put it, single with her friends and thought the first day of the new year — Jan. 1, 2001 — augured well, allowed her friend to fix her up.

Nancy and Barry Solomon lived in different cities, so they first spoke on the phone that New Year’s day. They emailed and talked via AOL Instant Messenger, communicating for six weeks before meeting in person. Nancy lived in Philadelphia, working for United Cerebral Palsy, while Barry was completing his fellowship in general academic pediatrics and, at the same time, a master’s degree in public health in Baltimore. But their first date wasn’t fully blind: They looked up each other’s pictures on “We read each other’s profiles,” Barry admitted.

By the time the two agreed to meet for lunch in Philadelphia, Nancy had developed feelings for Barry but wondered if she would feel a spark when they met.

“Barry came to my apartment,” Nancy remembered. “I had to decide if I was going to look through the peephole or not.” She relented and peeked, “because I knew that I had to feel something for him. It felt like he was the one but I hadn’t seen him. I was relieved he was so good looking. I thought he was so cute. It was seeing him that sealed it for me.”

Barry already felt Nancy was the one as well. “We’d been talking for so long,” he said. “Every day we were talking and laughing. I knew we were a good match.”

“It was really love at first voice,” Nancy said.

“Or email,” Barry suggested.

“I knew he was a good speller,” Nancy laughed. “And we have matching writing styles and a similar sense of humor.”

“We had lunch in Chestnut Hill,” Nancy remembered. “We saw ‘Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.’ I saved the movie ticket.” The date continued through dinner downtown.

Nancy said her parents were kind of shocked at first, as they hadn’t met Barry yet.

“They were in Florida for the winter when we met. I went on vacation with my parents and I’d disappear for hours on the phone with Barry and my parents were like: ‘What is going on? Who is this person?’” she recalled.

After eight months of long-distance dating between Baltimore and Philadelphia, Barry proposed. They were ready, Nancy said. “I was 31, Barry was 30. We saw each other every weekend.”

Nancy and Barry married July 28, 2002, at Green Valley Country Club in Lafayette Hill in Pennsylvania, close to Nancy’s Philadelphia-suburb hometown of Bala Cynwyd. They had to find a new rabbi, however, to Nancy’s disappointment.

“My rabbi couldn’t marry us because his son was getting married that night,” Nancy said. “I loved him so. It would have been [the late] Rabbi Gerald Wolpe, but we had to find a rabbi we felt comfortable with.”

The pair went to Hawaii for their honeymoon, visiting the islands of Maui and Kauai.

These days, Barry and Nancy live in Barry’s hometown of Baltimore, where Barry is a pediatrician and faculty member at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Nancy is a pediatric speech pathologist in private practice.

The couple has a daughter, Samantha, 14, and son, Josh, 12. In addition to being “an amazing dad” who “puts his kids first,” said Nancy, Barry is “such a good role model” and “an amazing human being. He’s humble, compassionate, with kindness and goodness, and I get to live with that.”

Barry said the same about Nancy, adding she is “caring, sensitive, fun and funny, silly and creative.” He said she is “honest and she speaks up for what she believes is right. She is an incredible mother.”

The two enjoy “just being together: having fun, enjoying each other’s company and laughing,” said Barry. “We laugh a lot, and we like to be together. It would be unusual for one of us to go away for a weekend or a week without the other.”

“We stick together,” agreed Nancy, who has not been alone on New Year’s Eve since her days aligned with Barry’s on Jan. 1, 2001.

Erica Rimlinger is a local freelance writer.

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