RENO, NEVADA - Gladys Billingsley, a 53 year old health care worker, is thinking about giving her son, Gerald, an ultimatum.
"I told him, if he doesn't get home at a decent hour each night, say 11:00 p.m., then I am thinking about placing him on a curfew. He's been dragging in here at 3:00 in the morning and sleeps until noon or longer! He tells me he's too tired to look for a job. This has been going on for 9 months, ever since he got fired from his night job at the 7-11 down the street."
Gladys, who works two shifts at the Diamond Horseshoe Retirement Center just to keep food on the table, has noticed Gerald isn't nearly as motivated as her sister's boy, Kramer.
Explained Gladys, "Now Kramer got a job right after he got his GED at the alternative school. He started working as a pin boy at the Bowl-a-Rama downtown 20 years ago and has worked his way up to assistant manager during the night shift. He's making something of himself."
According to Gladys, Gerald didn't finish high school and spends most of his time playing video games on his Sega Genesis. "My husband, Al, who passed away in 2005, wanted Gerald to join the army, but they wouldn't take him, for some reason. He likes food, so we thought he could get a job slinging hash for the military."
Gerald, who was unavailable for comment because he was still asleep in his bedroom down the hall, just had a birthday.
"I saved up and took him to Chuck E. Cheese's on my one night off, and I thought we could talk about his future plans then," said Gladys, "but Gerald just wanted to play those games after he devoured his two large pizzas."
Gladys excused herself to go wake up Gerald before she left for her first shift at 3:30. "He sure needs a lot of sleep for a 35 year old," sighed Gladys.