In the third episode of Push Girls, Mia’s backstory with her mother is highlighted, and Angela throws an epic 10 year anniversary party celebrating her “new life.”
SPOILERS AHEAD ****
As this episode begins, Mia shows what may be possibly the most dangerous type of wheelchair-to-car transfer ever, and that is a busy LA Street. I don’t know how Mia, or any other bad ass paraplegics in any busy city do this type of transfer.
I love that the show is showing the extra dangers people in wheelchairs face in their everyday lives (and how even more important, people need to pay more attention to the road and look out for wheelchair-users when they’re driving). This episode is really all about Mia, and focuses on her reunion with her mother after not seeing her for three years. She comes to LA to visit her.
Parents always have a really hard time dealing with spinal cord injuries of their children, and Mia’s mom is no different. Mia’s mother struggles with alcohol problems, and it’s been a sore spot for Mia since she was a little girl. “When I found out Mia wasn’t going to be able to walk again. I wish she would’ve just died, because I didn’t know how she would be able to live,” admits her mother.
I wonder how many parents out there have thought this? “She just couldn’t accept my paralysis,” says Mia. The dynamic between these two women is heart wrenching. When her mother first comes to visit her at her apartment she says, “You’re not walking yet?” Damn, not funny. But Mia does something really smart, and that is introduce her to the other girls to try to prove that you can still live a full life despite not being able to walk.
And Mia is full of tricks. She stands in her standing frame in her heels. They’re chunky, but still. And she does another awesome thing – to get into her salon that isn’t accessible, she transfers herself into our regular chair to get up the stairs. You gotta see it.
And Angela throws a 10 year injury anniversary party which she calls her “Celebration of Life” party. I kind of like it, even though at first a kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Who celebrates being in a wheelchair? But then I realized it’s about celebrating being a survivor, and that’s really cool. Angela, who is currently separated from her husband, Dustin Ngyun, claimed actor from 21 Jump Street, also reveals why she didn’t move to Vietnam to be with him for his next career move. She says the people in that country see disability as a curse, and it would’ve been too difficult. But didn’t she see that as an opportunity to possibly change perceptions there?
I also loved when Auti and Tiphany take Chelsie out to buy her first pair of high heel shoes post-injury. I really wish I would have had someone to do this for me when I was injured. “They proved to me you still can be beautiful and be in a wheelchair,” says Chelsie.
And Auti and Tiphany pick up a fancy cake for Angela’s party, and refuse help when carrying the cake back to their car. Tiphany stresses the importance of still wanting to be able to do everything she can still do, and I’ve read some people online complain about this part of the of the episode, thinking she was being too stubborn, but hell. Sure, it always may be a close call, but the feeling you get when you do it without any help is priceless.