SCARBOROUGH, Maine — A Scarborough native whose column about the welfare abuses she says she witnessed as a cashier at Walmart said she’s received five marriage proposals since the piece went viral online. And she has a follow-up column in the works to respond to those who didn’t like her original post.

Christine Rousselle, a 2009 Scarborough High School graduate and a current junior at Providence College in Rhode Island, wrote about her experiences working as a teenager at the Scarborough Walmart in a column that was published Tuesday on the website The College Conservative.

She wrote about customers at the store using government subsidies to buy toys, candy and jewelry, as well as a hot dog stand operator who she says supplied his business using food stamps.

The column has skyrocketed past 400,000 views since it was posted early Tuesday morning and began to get passed around by readers using social networking websites.

Rousselle told the Bangor Daily News Thursday afternoon most of the response has been positive.

“I’ve actually gotten five marriage proposals from this,” Rousselle, 20, said. “Or at least five. I haven’t checked the comments yet today. I’m floored by all of this.”

She said her former Walmart coworkers have largely applauded her for pointing out what has frustrated them for years.

“I saw somebody come through the line using food stamps to buy $60 worth of lobsters,” Rousselle said. “One of the women I worked with — a hard worker — said, ‘I wish I could afford $60 worth of lobsters.’ We saw money getting deducted from our paychecks, then we got to see where it was going.

“It’s hard to see money get deducted from your paycheck to pay for WWE figures,” she said, referring to action figures of wrestlers.

Not all of the feedback she’s received has been positive. Rousselle said her comment in the blog post that “I’m not against temporary aid helping those who truly need it” has not stopped readers from blasting her as an out-of-touch ideologue.

“I’m planning another post — ‘Christine is not a monster’ — just to clear up some misconceptions,” said Rousselle, who is planning to return to Scarborough for Christmas vacation on Monday. “Oddly enough, there have been comments accusing me of being a racist. Well, Maine is 94 percent white, and the people I referenced in the column were white. People are going to read what they want to read. One person called me a pretty little privileged white girl. No. That’s not true. It’s very weird to be attacked on a personal level.”

It’s something she said she’s bracing for more of. She said the taste of Internet fame has reinforced her interest in pursuing a career as a conservative political analyst in the media — although she said no job offers have come in along with the marriage proposals yet.

“I’m having the time of my life,” Rousselle said. “I would love to do this full-time. My dream job is to be Ann Coulter.”

Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.