It's Valentine's Day, and there is definitely something special in the air.
It's either the magical power of true love or -- and I'm pretty sure it's this second thing -- the enticing aroma of sizzling bacon.
I say this because I have just returned from visiting some of this nation's top love gurus, by which I mean the kids in Yury Kruk's Grade 5 class and Derek Paul's grades 4 and 5 class at Hampstead School in East Kildonan.
I spent a morning with these pint-sized love doctors as part of I Love to Read Month. In return, they presented me with the sort of thoughtful gift that can reduce a grown newspaper columnist to tears -- two pounds of gourmet bacon.
Along with delicious salty strips of cured pork, the kids also agreed to squat on the floor and, wielding No. 2 pencils, scribble out their secrets for becoming irresistible to the opposite sex, recipes for love that, not surprisingly, frequently included bacon as a key ingredient. Here are their unedited responses:
Secret No. 1 -- "If you are single and feel lonely, you should try to go on a dating website or, if that does not work, try to cook bacon and rub it all over you and cook more, put it on a plate, go outside and they will all come for you, but if they don't like bacon you can try to talk to him or her and if you are a boy ask her out!" --Alysse, 10, Grade 5
Secret No. 2 -- "Listen to them talk, even if you are not really interested in what they are talking about. And agree a lot. Girls seem to like when you say sorry." -- Anderson, 11
Secret No. 3 -- "If your lonly and you don't have any one read this tip ... Ask them out, in a few years ask them to merry you and if you want them to be with you for ever make them a nice breakfest every day help her with housework and all that nice things and then they would never live you!" -- Amiliya, 10
Secret No. 4 -- "(Eleven tips in total) 1. Ask the girl out for dinner... 5. Buy her pickles 6. Buy her bacon 7. Buy her a necklace... 10. Don't wear calone 11. Use bacon smell." -- David, 10, Grade 5
Secret No. 5 -- "(Seven steps) Step 1: Comb and brush your hair -- it would make you look beautiful; Step 2: Put on fashionable clothes -- it would make you look rich ... Step 4: Put on lipstick -- the guy will get ready to be kissed... Step 6: Put on fashionable glasses -- It will make the guy in love; Step 7 -- Go outside and find your LOVE!" -- Chistan, 10, Grade 5
Secret No. 6 -- "Give the girl flowers. Give them a hog. Give them a story. Danse. Give them a red rose. Sing a song. Say funny stuff. Be classy. Buy something good. Give them meat. Give them bacon." -- Rhengo, 10
Secret No. 7 -- (Thirteen tips) 1. Treat her with kintness. 2. Listen to her when she talks. 3. Give her flawers... 12. Look strong. 13. Give her bacon." -- Billy
Secret No. 7 -- "Buy them gifts/bacon. Make them a poem. Make a love letter. Ask them out. If that does not work, just go on a dateing website or get bacon calone." -- Keanna, 10
Secret No. 8 -- "Find a girl, be a friend for seven or five months. Once you be a best friend to the girl, make an accident and then save her. Once she hugs you, tell her your feelings. Then for Valentine's give her flowers. Use this, kids, please, it works." -- Kirubel, 10, Grade 5
Secret No. 9 -- "How to get a guy to fall in love with you. (Four steps) 1st step -- Act pretty and pretend you don't notice him. Sooner or later he will talk to you. 2nd step -- Anything that's a joke, laugh, even if it's a horrible joke. 3rd step -- If he asks you out, you always say yes and if it is the worst place to go, you still say yes. 4th step -- If this becomes a normal thing when you go out a lot, it's time to take a step further. Start to dress up very attractive and put some makeup on." -- Rydanna, 10, Grade 5
Secret No. 10 -- "Dress in front of a girl is shirtless and give them twelve stacks of stake." -- Logan, 10, Grade 5
Secret No. 11 -- "Wash my car. I love a clean car more than flowers." -- Teacher-librarian Liz Loewen
Secret No. 12 -- "Always be their for her. Ask her to marry you. Where a tuxedo." -- Nathan, 10, Grade 5
Secret No. 13 -- "Write a poem to her ... and be nice and swag!" -- Melody, 9, Grade 4
Secret No. 14 -- "Wear perfume, but not too much. Make them bacon and bacon sandwiches." -- Sabrina, 9, Grade 4
Secret No. 15 -- "(Five steps) Step 1. Show her your cute dog or a baby sister or a baby brother. Step 2. Make her laugh. Step 3. Say she has a great smile. Step 4. Tell her she has great hair. Step 5. Then you make your move and kiss her. And this works." -- Tyler, 10
Anyway, the Hampstead School kids had lots more romance tips, but hopefully these will get your heart pounding today. I know mine is. Of course, that might just be the bacon grease.
What is your No. 1 romantic tip for Valentine's Day? Join the conversation in the comments below.