Charlotte de Vreeze-Nauta really hates toes. Luckily autumn is around the corner, and that means no more showcasing in flip flops and sandals.

Summer is almost over. I know, it’s so sad. I loved the sun on my skin. I have loved not needing a coat when going outside. I have so enjoyed swimming in the sea and lakes and swimming pools. I so liked to eat breakfast in the morning sun. So yeah, there is lots to miss, heading towards autumn. And lots to look forward to once we leave winter behind us and focus on spring and summer again.

However, there is one thing I won’t miss in autumn and winter and one thing that I dread now that the climate is getting hotter and hotter: open shoes. Any type of shoe that shows toes. I hate them.

I don’t know why but I’ve always had this aversity to toes.

In part this is because there are some very disgusting examples around. There are toes that have dark and thick hairs on them. Toes that are yellowish because some repugnant fungous decided to make them their home. Toes that are so brittle that they fall apart before your poor, traumatized eyes. Put the three together and put the whole thing in a flip-flop or sandal and my nightmare is complete.

My husband knows how much I detest gross toes, so he likes to point them out to me. And the stupid thing is, I always look. It’s like a scary movie: you know you shouldn’t look; you know you don’t want to watch, yet you do it anyway.

Once in a hotel it almost led to a row between him and me. We were on a short romantic trip in a very nice hotel. Everything was just lovely and one of the best features was the hotel’s breakfast. When we sat down, about to indulge in a myriad of delicacies, my husband pointed discretely at the table next to us where a couple was sitting. The man had the most horrendous toes I’d ever seen. Yellow and brown nails, growing in all directions and the rest of his feet were scabby buggers as well, so I just gagged. Obviously, digesting food was out of the question and my husband had ruined breakfast.

The problem is that I always realize too late that I have an expressive face. So, if these horrid little fungous f*ers come into view, my face must give away how I feel about the person’s feet. And then of course, I feel embarrassed about my behavior and sorry for those people. But I can’t help it. Even as I am writing about it, I notice that I have a look of disgust on my face.

I can’t even look at relatively pretty feet – yes, they do exist. But to me, all feet are horrid.

So, it’s baffling to me that there are people that are really into feet. And I’m not talking about foot fetishists; please, I can’t bear to think of those people. But people that have jobs like a pedologist or a pedicurist. How do they do that?  I don’t understand. The thought alone of touching a stranger’s hooves, gives me chills. If that makes me a bad Christian, too bad. There are limits to what I’ll endure, and feet are the limit.

Now comes the strange thing. There is one exception. Really. And it’s babies’ feet. As much as I hate all feet over the shoe size of, let’s say, 27, baby feet are so incredibly cute, you almost want to eat them. Feet might even be the most adorable part of babies.

I used to love kissing the feet of our children when they were young. They were so cute. These chubby little tootsies. But from the age of seven or something, the magic is gone. I am not disgusted by them, as they are, of course, my children. But I do not want their feet near my face.

So, for me, autumn and winter are a huge blessing. It means that feet will, once again, be covered up and hidden deeply in socks and shoes.

It also means that I can relax again, my stress levels drop, and I can eat out without having my appetite ruined due to moldy shriveled little toes.

Welcome back, autumn!