The Single-minded column is looking for a few good responses to the interesting business of negotiating life as a single. Read on:

If you can still check the "single" box on the insurance form one day after you turned 21, you've probably heard The Question: "So, why aren't you married?"Or its also-nagging cousin: "So, why haven't you gotten married again?"

Though used year-round, that old marital status question seems to crop up more regularly during the holiday season.

"Well, I don't look good in white," or "I don't know either," are two pedestrian answers to The Question, not breathtakingly flashy, but much more polite than that old Ann Landers' standard: MYOB, or Mind Your Own Business.

Seems like most of my single friends plan to get married someday, when they find somebody they like. Seems most of us would admit finding someone to share a toothbrush holder with is a tricky business, at best. Almost as tricky as finding the answer to Aunt Ethel's yearly asking of The Question, which she throws at you over the white meat at a festive table.

Does The Question offend you? Have you thought of a good way to answer it?

Holiday season is rolling around, so it's time to prepare your answers for that most traditional American family sport, the marital status quiz.

If you've heard or thought of a creative way to please the relatives - or to gracefully deflect questions about your marital status - share it with us.

You've been working hard all week.

You finished that major project that you worked on for months - before the deadline. Maybe you've already earned that promotion, after all. In fact, you got so much done today, you even had time to shovel down to the wood grain of your desk. And now it's the weekend.

For the first time in months, you're not in the mood for another night of cocooning. It's time to kick up your heels, celebrate. You've got energy to burn, and you're drawn to the bright lights.

You're not in the mood to see a movie. No symphony, Jazz game or theater, either. You want to socialize, hang out. Maybe see some old friends. Maybe meet some new people.

Mostly, you want to get away from your own four walls. You're in charge of the agenda.

In Salt Lake City, a town that's known for being a bit - er, dare we say - stodgy? about its night life, where's the action?

Single-minded is curious. Send us a note about your favorite nightspots. Describe the mood of the place, the kind of people who hang out there, the kind of food/entertainment available.

Are new places catching on among your friends? Or do you hang out at the same places you used to frequent in college? If you're in the twentysomething generation, where do you hang out? Now that you're on the far side of 40, what places do you frequent?

The way my dad told the story, he picked up my mom on a Sunday afternoon. It was wartime in a small Washington state town in the middle of nowhere. Two flyboys looking for some nice girls who might also be in a picnic-kind-of-a-mood.

The females, however, demurred at the opportunity to be a part of these strangers' schemes. They were determined, Air Force pilot wings or not, to see a movie. How fitting, however, that the said movie was "Romeo and Juliet."

The pilots didn't want to sit through the flick again, so they bought an armload of picnic supplies and waited by the exit door.

And it was a Cute Meet that stuck: 42 years of marriage, six kids, 11 grandkids.

There are the standard variety of `boy-meets-girl in class or at work' stories, the kind that are distinctive only because of what comes after. Most of us meet each other in workaday kinds of ways, and we tell the blue-collar stories of the dating world.

Then there are the Cute Meets, the kind that Doris Day and Rock Hudson used to spin to feature length.

Cute Meets become party stories, Urban Dating Tales perhaps, embroidered through the years to take on lives of their own.

Do you harbor any Cute Meet, first-encounter stories? We want to hear your best love stories, whether they turned into relationships or not. Do you and your partner tell your first-encounter stories in different ways? Does your story make friends laugh?

- Please send your responses to: Single-minded, Deseret News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, UT 84110. Include your name and a phone number where you can be reached during the day in case we want to interview you.