When Tom awoke in the morning, Betsy was already dressed. Her hair was combed and she had put on lipstick.
'What time is it?' he asked.
'Good God,' he said. 'Go away. I've another hour to sleep.'
'No you don't,' she said. 'No more rushing for the train.'
'This is the new regime. We're going to have a leisurely breakfast before you go to work.'
'Oh, God!' he said.
The three children came in and stood by the bed staring at him. Their hair was all combed, and they had on freshly ironed clothes. 'Momma got us up early,' Janey said mournfully. 'Are you going to get up too?'
Sloan Wilson, The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit, 1955
I do enjoy this novel. It is the story of a marriage - one of those wartime marriages where the wedding was followed by an absence of years, with all its associated trials and stresses. Tom and Betsy are in their 'tired thirties', parents of three young children. Tom is working hard for not enough money, and the family are trapped in a house they hate, and a life not satisfying enough. Betsy's decision to get up early and take control of their family life is somewhat of a catalyst for the many decisions the couple begin to make which lead to them creating a happy future for themselves.
At our house, if I get up any later than 7.05am the entire morning falls apart. Getting one child off to school, three girls up and breakfasted, dressed, washed, house more or less tidied and school work more or less started by 9ish takes every minute. So, of course, human nature being what it is, I sleep until four and a half minutes past seven. Still, whilst loving to sleep, I am beginning to think that if I do a Betsy and get up early and take control, then I will have a minute to breathe. I may be able to go for a walk, or open my mail, or even cook breakfast if I am feeling especially gracious. Or maybe just comb my hair and put on lipstick. I can but try. So, 6am tomorrow morning. Me and Betsy.