Today I spent almost $100 on underwear. No doubt some women - such as any of The Real Housewives or Kardashian sisters - spend more than that on one tiny pair of panties.  But for this real housewife, that's a big number to spend on something that will only ever be seen by one man (and two dogs).

This unprecedented purchase was inspired in part by my boss.  Now before you get all weird about that, let me explain that my boss is  (1) a woman about my age;  (2) extremely stylish and well put together; and (3) generous enough to give all of her employees a nice cash bonus for Christmas.

In a small office where every employee is female, style, fashion, and beauty are familiar topics of conversation.  "My mother worked in lingerie at Crowley's (an upscale department store in the Detroit area) and she convinced me of the importance of good foundation garments," my boss said during one of these conversations.  She went on to tell us about shopping at Harp's Lingerie, a classic shop (est. 1947) in downtown Birmingham, Michigan, where women are assigned personal fitters and their measurements kept on file.   "Whenever I'm dressing for a special occasion, I go there," she said.

Without revealing too much, I confess I've always been very utilitarian when it comes to undergarments.  The older I get, the less I care about them.  As long as they provide the three C's-coverage, comfort, and cleanliness - I'm happy.   I don't need them to match or even coordinate top to bottom.  But I've recently lost about 10 pounds, and my clothes are all fitting more nicely, and it occurred to me that it would be fun to have some new undies to wear with my new, improved shape.

So I took some of my Christmas bonus and went to Macy's where they were offering a "buy two get one free" sale.  Before long, I had stocked up on enough new "dainties" to provide a clean pairing for every day of the week. There was quite a little line at the sales register, too.  "Looks like everyone's starting the new year with new underwear!" the sales clerk said.

I have to admit, it's  fun to wear these stylish pieces underneath my everyday jeans and sweater.  I feel secretly glamorous and -dare I say - even sexy.  A small pleasure, surely, but one I've never allowed myself to indulge until now.

Makes me wonder what else I might be missing.