My dad was weird about a lot of things, but he was especially weird about his prized possessions. My guess is it had something to do with him being one of the youngest of ten children.
Yeah, I have a lot of cousins and a very big family. He would tell us stories of his older siblings constantly taking his belongings and claiming them as their own. It would drive him nuts, but anytime he tried to stick up for himself, he'd get pummeled. But, there was one thing they never got their hands on-- a metal pen.
It was so small that no one ever bothered to notice it. It's not like the pen was some antique pen, it was just this metal pen that a teacher had given him once in grade school.
It wasn't a hand-me-down item, but a brand new, very shiny pen and it was all his. He had this special little box that he lined with felt to keep it hidden in his desk drawer at home.