Being green is bad for us…

Doing numerous radio interviews for Takes on Life, presenters off-air have been careful to enquire if it’s agreeable to make mention of my progeny and in particular my first born.

I am approving of their etiquette and manners and I quickly assure them that is absolutely fine. Hell, had ‘Tom’ not happened, it is unlikely that I would be interviewed at all. After all, it was Tom’s story that was the catalyst for my blog and his popularity that has made my writing more findable on-line and this is the basis from which I am able to write and sell whatever books I can.

I even wrote a book about father and son and our diverging careers, so by all means, mention that my son is Tom. Of course, it is noteworthy and interesting. Most people can see the humour in my familial circumstances and I would add, most people are delighted by what has happened to Tom and to the Holland family more generally.  Although, sadly not all people, I am afraid.

During a run through for a TV pilot show, I was introduced by the show’s host as a comedian and the father of this bloke – whereupon Tom appeared on a large screen in his S-M outfit. He hadn’t been long been cast and the audience gasped more than they laughed. A famous Irish comedian on the opposing team seemed much less impressed than the audience. After his introduction, he quipped that there are so many incarnations of Spider-Man, that no doubt, his young son would be the webslinger when he was old enough!

He waited for his laugh… but only an awkward and embarrassed silence came his way. He’s a bright lad and to be fair to him, he did apologise afterwards but there was no need. In-spite of his considerable success, he is in a battle with the green eyed monster – and losing.

Jealousy is an affliction and it is particularly rife in show-business. Schadenfreude is an expression to denote finding pleasure in another person’s misery or failure and is never very edifying.

I’m fortunate that I am not a jealous type and particularly so of the comedians who can do things that I can’t. The stand-ups who can rock rooms year on year and with new stuff are worthy of their success and good for them.

And this applies to my boys too. I am occasionally asked if I am jealous of Tom but thankfully not by anyone who knows me very well. When I was growing up, I imagined being famous and how cool it must be to be recognised wherever I go. I had a little taste of this during my purple career patch which was probably not as long as Andy Warhol assured me I was due.

Tom eclipsed me many moons ago and I fully expect my other boys to follow suit. I hope so anyway. I will continue to help them along and I’ll cheer when it happens.

In all areas of life but for one…

The other evening, wet outside and already dark, Nikki, Sam, Paddy and I are and about to have dinner when Nikki’s phone pipes up which is bad timing and irksome. Ordinarily we would leave it – but it’s a call from America and Nikki takes it.

It is Tom on FaceTime and he’s in a heightened state of excitement – which given his life so far, it means that this must be something special. Call it a Dad’s intuition or just something in my marrow but I know what it is already.

“Is dad, there? Quick, put him on, quick…”

His urgency means that he has already called me and I have a Missed Call. Ordinarily this means I am in trouble but I suspect, not on this occasion.

Nikki hands me the phone and my suspicions are confirmed…

On one hand he is wearing a white glove and it has nothing to do with Michael Jackson. He is playing golf. The brilliant blue sky of Atlanta in stark contrast to our own and adds to my sense of grievance.

“Dad. 193 yards. Par 3. 7 Iron. Hole-in-one.”

I knew what was coming and I stopped listening on “par 3…”

In more than 25 years of playing golf, I have never had a hole-in-one. In what must be thousands of attempts I have never even come close. Not really. And on a hole of 193 yards in length, if I selected a 7 iron, then I would need to use it twice.

Am I jealous of my son?

Sometimes is the truthful answer. But in all the right places and this is how it should be.

The TV pilot never got made btw and as far as I know, the son of the Irish comedian is not yet a famous actor. But if this does happen or to anyone I know, then I would be pleased for them.

And this is definitely the better way to be.


Since this blog was posted on Patreon – it has been politely explained to me the difference between jealousy and envy.


Jealousy is guarding against losing something we have.

Envy is coveting something someone else has.

And so to conclude, I am never jealous of my son but I am fleetingly envious and thank goodness. These days, with my needy bladder I have enough trouble sleeping as it is.





14 thoughts on “Being green is bad for us…

    • Ericka Reed says:

      Hello from Pennsylvania! I particularly loved this addition to your blog because it was definitely something that I can personally relate to. Up until a few years ago, I often struggled between jealousy and envy when it came to my own sister. (Sadly to say, it was more about my vanity than it was her accomplishments)

      It was nice to hear about an experience of Tom’s through his family and not in some interview or talk show. Even though Tom had already posted on his Instagram story last week about hitting a hole in one, I was still happy to read about it. Especially since reading this made Tom appear a bit more human, at least to me! I wish you and all of your children success in what they do! Merry Christmas!

  1. Sydnee Coleman says:

    Lovely blog Mr. H, even more so today. With the holidays coming around, Envy is a thing I deal with sometimes with me being the middle child and all. My siblings are I’m proud to say happily, better at getting the lifestyle they wanted at an early time in their life. I get there in my own time but they are still better gifted then me at something. Merry Christmas from my family to yours.

    • Marisa says:

      Hello! Again from Argentina I look forward to your blogs every Sunday. I am glad that your whole family is together at this time. Opportunity for revenge in golf !!!! CONGRATULATIONS to you and your beautiful family

  2. Claudia says:

    I love all of your blogs, but I really enjoyed this one in particular. I have always thought that the Holland family is the most genuine and caring famous family there is. Your blogs always confirm it to me. Greetings, my best wishes always.

  3. Carolina salles says:

    Hello, how are you!? I love you all and all your blogs, Dom! I hope to meet you one day!
    Have a great day, I am always wishing you the best!

  4. Lias says:

    Any loving parent would never be jealous of their children’s achievements, just extremely proud, it’s a stupid question to ask you! As everyone can see and read how much you love your family x

  5. Lorraine says:

    I love that one of the first things Tom did was to call you to share his excitement. With his vaunted lifestyle now, it’s good to hear he still just wanted to share his success in golf with you. Loved today’s blog and had a great time with the quiz last night. Have a great week with the boys home ☺️

  6. Khadine says:

    I loved reading this blog. And thank you so much for brightening what was potentially a rather miserable weekend for me. It’s lovely to see the love and support of the family, and hope you get to score that hole in one soon! I hope you and your amazing family have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New year. Sending all of you my love. Stay safe. Xx.

  7. Cathy says:

    I love that Tom’s reaction was to call and tell his dad! Family is everything and your boys have learned that lesson well. Love your blogs. Please keep writing!

    Love from the Twin Cities of Minnesota

  8. Amelia says:

    I love your blogs I am a huge fan your the most talented family in the world, I’m sure you will get a hole in one I don’t get golf so I done really know what that is but oh well.

  9. Rachel Conrad says:

    I really enjoyed this blog!
    I’d never heard about that event with the Irish comedian on the TV pilot. It sounds like a bit of a win-lose situation too (it’s fortunate that it never aired and that the rude joke about a “potential” rising star, who has now ended up being a worldwide success, was never made, but unfortunate that you didn’t get to be on the show/aired).
    I can’t wait to hear even more stories in your book Eclipsed (I’m about 120 pages in, but now have some good time on my hands to get back to reading)!
    Also looking forward to next week’s blog and to your new book Takes on Life, which might end up being a Christmas gift! Fingers crossed!
    And remember, it’s thou shalt not covet thy neighbor— never does it say thou shalt not covet thy family.
    Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

  10. Cynthia Church says:

    Hi Dom,
    As a mother of three boys, all grown, I wanted to see all of them grow as kind men and do well in their chosen career path. As parents, we want our progeny to do better even if by all standards we did okay for ourselves. Like you, my oldest has chosen a similar career as I. It is evident that he is very good at it. Did he benefit from following a similar path? No idea. What I do know is that the hard work is all due to him. I have provided advice when he asked, but mostly just watched proudly. Isn’t it great to watch our sons grow and follow their life paths in whatever directions it takes them?
    Just to let you know, I have read a couple of your books and have started on a third. Thanks for your blog, your honesty, and most of all your observations on life. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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