Gal and Eytan: 25 Years Together

Director Eytan Fox (‘Yossi & Jagger,’ ‘The Bubble’) and journalist Gal Uchovsky, are considered a “royalty couple” in the LGBT community in Israel. This week, they celebrate 25 years together, and in his column on Mako , Gal looks back to how they met and why aren’t they having a big “silver wedding” party.

young_us_cWhen I was 30 , I realized it was time to get married. A year earlier I ended a stormy relationship. Then I went wild for a few months, though if I compare it to the standards today  and the level of availability in the applications world, maybe I should say with a smile that I “frolicked” for a few months. In any case, I was tired. I realized it was time to find a serious relationship.

My method was to treat each new guy as a potential partner for marriage, and try to emphasize his good qualities . It wasn’t so successful. Guys came along and mostly went fast. Then one day my friend Bosmat called to tell me that the film department at the university where she studied was going to produce the Israeli Academy Awards . The director would be an outstanding second year student, and he chose her as the producer of the show.

Bosmat had disappeared for two weeks, and the next time we talked she enthusiastically told me about the director with whom she works –  smart, nice and handsome, and from a good family, originally from America. We agreed I would pass by accident at the corner of the pizzeria on Laskov and Ibn Gabirol where they had their production meetings . I had just come from a meeting with a friend from New York, who brought me a gift, a book in English. So I felt quite at my best. The problem was that the pizerria had tinted windows, and as I passed in front of it I couldn’t see if they were inside or not. I passed by again and again, and finally just went inside. We had a short introduction. He was very handsome and sort of cute too.

Two days after our first date, which was at a restaurant, I went to the U.S. and Europe for three weeks. Every few days I called him “Collect”. When I came back, I  called to ask if I could come over.  “I prefer to come to you. My water and electricity got disconnected because of ‘some debt’.” I was happy . “Ah … no problem, you can stay the night.” He came and never left from that day on.

This Saturday we celebrate 25 years together, what we call the twenty fifth anniversary . It’s a lot. A- L-O-T. And that includes, thanks for asking, even three months of a separation, which was three years ago. A brief separation in such a long relationship makes a part of it. So how did it happen that we have become a family ? I really don’t know. According to the events of this week, it begs the question, what makes two people come together without wanting to leave each other?

Is love enough? I believe so . All you need is love and goodwill. Love and understanding that you want to live your lives together. With a little effort and will power, this can also bridge periods when there’s a lack of synchronization in desires, and in the state-of-mind of each partner.

Living as a couple is a nightmare, but living alone is also a nightmare, and you have to decide which is better . I prefer to go to bed every night hugging Eytan before I go to sleep. Not a long hug, usually it lasts a minute at the most, but it gives the power to continue. Even when we turn to the other side, we make sure to have some kind of contact between us. That’s how we feel security, I think.

Obviously there are a thousand good reasons and opportunities to leave. There’s no person who isn’t unbearable sometimes. And over the years there are so many annoying habits and behaviors that are a nightmare. I know couples who became fed up with each other. I can’t even say that I have a recipe for maintaining relationships. But I know we love each other, connect to each other, and most of all can’t imagine life without each other .

[To celebrate our 25th year together ] I wanted to have a big party and have Ivri Lider sing “Zachiti Le’ehov” (‘I got to love’), but Eytan preferred  to go abroad, just the two of us . And I gave him that, because I also want something and it should be a wedding. Now we can get married in America or France, but I don’t want that. I want to do it here. And I’m willing to wait, and hope that the new members in the Knesset will help fix it this coming year. In any case I promise that, as soon as it’s legal,  we will be the first to marry in the land of Tel Aviv. In the meantime, and since it’s August, we’ll have our twenty-five year celebration on a small and unfamiliar Greek island. The party will have to wait.