The beginning of April I visited the “Yahoo Trolls” site, and saw that cs_vapor had posed the question, “Why is Cindybin so popular?” He was always nice to me on the boards, so I read what he had to say on the subject.

“If you think about it, she’s not really a troll,” he commented. “She doesn’t post anything outrageous and it’s usually other people who are promoting her with her name in the subject line.”

Some of the replies he received were kind of humorous:

“Her popularity stems from her naïveness.”

“Here is this woman in her 40s who takes Yahoo boards seriously (or at least used to) and her profile is filled out as if she thinks the world gives a f*ck.”

“It’s because she is so stubborn and perseveres about drugs. She says, ‘We cannot legalize drugs because they are illegal.’”

That last one about drugs being illegal was a common accusation from the pot-smokers. “You’re so stupid! You say pot is bad because it’s illegal, and that it’s illegal because it’s bad,” they’d tell me. Well no, that was not it, I’d respond. I kept pointing out over and over that even if pot were legal, most parents still would not want their kids to smoke it, ever. Can you imagine a young couple holding their brand new baby, cooing and smiling at him or her, and then saying, “Oh, how we love our precious little darling…We hope so much that you grow up to be a casual pot smoker or a full-fledged pothead!”

One evening my alter-ego Cindybin_2001 and I began having some actual conversations, where he was still using the imposter ID but talking to me as himself, even though I did not know his identity. A few others were chatting as well, and he mentioned something about how hard it was to give up smoking cigarettes, but that he finally did it. I congratulated him, and he thanked me. As I said, I had usually laughed at his posts and tried to be a good sport, thinking he didn’t really mean all the things he said. But sometime after that, he made it clear to me that he really did think I was crazy. I was so offended. I kept asking him what on EARTH I said that was so far-fetched that he could possibly find fault with? He just further insulted me, and I was so mad I told him that I was taking back what I said about him stopping smoking.

So Cindybin_2001 thought I was a nutcase, but “cousintocindy” did not, at least when it came to the subject of drugs. My “cousin” began making her elaborate, interpretive posts on the bully boards probably in April. It was nice to have someone on my side. People often accused me of repeating myself, or cutting and pasting, which I did not. But the reason I said the same things, I explained, was because there really wasn’t much left to be said. “Last time I checked, marijuana was still against the law,” I’d say. “And most parents do all they can to keep their kids off drugs and out of trouble with the law.” As always, that was my main point. It did annoy me that so many people seemed to think smoking pot was normal, and that “everybody” does it. I wanted them to see that this was not the case, to give them a new perspective and help them realize they did not have to do this. I would tell them how I never used this stuff, and how when I was growing up, I always felt you had to be a “completely different person to do such a thing.” I’d lecture the Tough Chicks and bullies who made fun of me, saying how “I just can’t believe you people!” and how I did not make the laws, I’m just stating the reality, and that they are grown adults and should know better than to “roll up a joint, light it afire and smoke it.” And of course I’d always throw in the part about getting arrested and having to appear in front of a “stern, harsh judge,” something I knew about all too well after my experience in the courtroom. But they continued to make hurtful posts, “cutting me to my very core”, as I said.

Cousintocindy, who claimed to be a 46-year-old, happily married female, often had to make trips to her “connecting bathroom” (whatever that is) in order to relieve the sickness she felt after reading the many vile, hate-filled messages. Her embellishments basically repeated my stance on drugs, capturing my most oft-used phrases and inflections. Here is one of her posts from an older story about pot in the Community section:

“After several trips to the connecting bathroom, I can only say that you people are just unreal. How can you put me or Cindy or anyone normal through this? I’m about to vomit again, and my husband thought our ruined dinner was the limit!

“Those of you who are educated, have good jobs, have spouses, have children, what are you thinking??? Why would you even be interested in taking a marijuana joint, licking it, lighting it afire, puffing it and holding the inhalation in your lungs for a “hit”, then exhaling it out, then getting “stoned” and calling that leading a NORMAL lifestyle? YOU, of ALL people, should know better! I don’t know how far I am from just going into convulsions over this TERRIBLE stuff.

“Man, you don’t want to get pushed into the back of a police car like a common criminal, dragged into the station and left to sit in your degrading handcuffs while you think about what you have done, then face a cutting and so harshly commanding stern judge who doesn’t know your ass from Adam’s. I can’t believe you’re not supporting Cindy!!! The judge would laugh at your every whimsical notion about society’s laws being unnecessary and just throw an incredibly severe sentence at you! See how important your views on pot are?! Don’t even take any airy-fairy theories into that guy’s courtroom, thank you.

“The cruelty you guys have just cuts straight through to a person’s very core. You take a soul and rattle it. But it’s not Cindy who makes the laws, you have to see the reality. That’s just the way it is. It takes a COMPLETELY different type of person to even know where to FIND this stuff! I never would have known any people who smoked pot. Heavenly Father isn’t about to condone this either, and you should know that!

“Now if pot is legal in those cases where medical reasons require it, it doesn’t mean just anyone should do it! You should be supporting Cindy, instead of making fun of her and her doll collecting! We of course shouldn’t go out and get drunk on alcohol; that’s not right either.

“You people are cruel beyond my scariest dreams. I simply can’t believe you.

“Man, Cindy is just a regular person. I can’t believe you would not be more supportive, I really can’t.

“Geesh! I’m doing all I can to hold it in at this point.”

Several people thought cousintocindy was really me, but she definitely was not. I had no idea who she or he was (although I think it was a she), and stated many times that I was only Cindybin2001 and 2002, that I did not do any characters. My “cousin” also vehemently denied that she was me. Nonetheless, there were still those who did not believe us. But she did add some much-needed humor and a certain spark to the boards. One night, after a relaxing bath, my “cousin” returned only to find more negativity, compelling her to comment yet again:

“I obviously achieved a world of good in the brief time I had my computer turned off, while so many other posters churned in their hatred and proceeded to strip Cindy (who is NOT ME) and myself down to the utter core. Sure, it must have been fun. As fun as the light shines off a nicely polished doorknob. Should I repeat that maybe up to three times over the next week or more, so that the “stoned” people can understand? Maybe that would “help out a dude”?

“Really, people, check out better health practices, as it seems you’re the type to fall into the dangerous trap of expecting that a stern, firm, no-nonsense judge would be interested in hearing your entertaining theories about society’s “screwed-up laws” and how the “system’s coming down on the wrong guy, man.” SHEESH. Would you ever be asking for it.

“I don’t know WHAT you people are trying to accomplish. You of ALL people should know better. I’ve seen, like Cindy, people who demonstrate strong educational backgrounds and who have attained great jobs. It makes no sense that people such as these would be even slightly INTERESTED in these things.

“Look, no one is out to assign blame. There’s no better person here, okay? I just don’t know what’s gotten into you people. I really don’t. It’s just that it would take a COMPLETELY different type of person to be even INVOLVED in things like this!

“I emerged from a glorious bath. I saw posts that made fun of me, and I don’t care. And my husband came home from a brief outing with close friends, and he presented me with some of my favorite things. He’s such a wonderful husband. That’s unfortunately a strange concept for the majority of the posters on this board. LOL. He’s a good man. He just laughs and LAUGHS at the messages left here that are intended to upset me. I only wish you had someone so great! It’s a pity; it really is.

“It’s getting late. My husband and I are getting ready to turn in (he’s in the connecting bathroom right now). I can only hope that there will be more posts that are in SUPPORT of what makes the best sense tomorrow.

“Remember, people, hang on. Cindy has a successful weight loss story and ample tips for better eating habits. Are you ready for a worthwhile (needed) change?”

Thank you, cousintocindy, for saying it better than I ever could. If only there were more people like you, I might not have eventually broken down.

Chapter 12
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