After reading the comments OP deleted his post. Guess he didn't like the responses. Here's his story...
I grew up extremely poor. It was a normal aspect of life to save as much money as possible; but when I had to spend money, to extract as much value as possible. Despite being in a much better position today those behaviours never went away.
Yesterday my university friends [30-36 M & F] and I [30M] caught up over dinner at a restaurant called HaiDiLao. For those unfamiliar with the franchise, it's basically an exorbitantly overpriced hot pot restaurant, that justifies its pricing by offering an assortment of complimentary gifts that you can take at your pleasure.
For context, there were 8 of us, and together we spent $509.71; a not insignificant sum. So, yes, I was going to get as much of the complimentary offerings as possible. I loaded up on a small bag worth of the snacks, got a dozen hair ties, and even negotiated with the waitress to give us three of the take-home soup base packages (normally you're only given one).
Did I need any of it? No. To be honest, most of the reason why I did it was just to be good fun. And it was good fun. Almost everyone there had a good laugh from my antics. Even the restaurant's staff members. Well, everyone except one person: Reginald [32M].
If I'm going to be honest I've never liked Reginald. I've always thought he walked around with a 2 meter pole stuck up his a**. Specifically, he liked to always act as if he is some high society twat. As we were leaving the restaurant Reginald commented, 'That was so embarrassing. I'm never eating out with you again.'
Something about his tone just made his comment stood out from the banter. So I asked him to explain what he meant by the comment. Reginald basically went on to say that how I acted was of someone that is beneath him, and that in other circumstances he wouldn't interact with people like me.
At this point other members of the group started chiming in with reactions ranging from 'What is wrong with you, Reginald?' and 'I think JDP-Phoenix is just trying to be funny.' If Reginald would have backed down and apologised, I would have let things go. But he stood his ground and said, 'I'm just being honest. JDP-Phoenix acted low class and I don't want to be associated with that behaviour.'
Here's where I may be the a**hole. I know full well that Reginald is extremely insecure about how much he makes. He's expressed that to the group a few times when he gets overboard with his drinking.
Despite being cognisant of that, I fired back with 'Firstly, everyone else enjoyed my jokes. Even if the staff. So what's the problem? Secondly, I literally make multiples of you, mate. So calm it with the elitism.'.
Before things got more heated my partner pulled me away and we went home. Earlier today I was told by my friends that my comment really hurt Reginald, and he spent Saturday night drinking himself into a stupor. Did I go too far? Or was I just 'being honest'?
Here's what people had to say about JP and Reginald:
NTA. I mean maybe the place you went to isn't one Reginald would be comfortable returning to, but it sounds like you didn't do anything not part of the typical experience there.
JDP-Phoenix OP responded:
You know what's even more infuriating? Reginald chose the restaurant! I would have much preferred a much cheaper restaurant.
ESH— you both sound like a headache. If you don’t like going to “exorbitantly overpriced” restaurants, offer up a different spot to eat.
Also— 509.71 split between 8 people is a little over 60$ per person— that’s not /that/ crazily overpriced. If places offer complimentary gifts/additions to your meal, it’s not polite to abuse that generosity.
You knew going in that it was an “overpriced place”— don’t get petty with the staff and try to “get as much as you can” out of it. What Reginald said was poorly worded and elitist but you didn’t have to double down and hit below the belt. Be thankful you can (both) afford to go to a meal like that with friends.
At the end of the day, it’s low class to sh*t on people’s financial status/choices.
Yes, the only rational response here. OP needs to learn some table manners.
He really jumped in with the mob mentality as well. I don’t think he would of “stood his ground” if his other friends didn’t give him supporting comments.
They weren’t even that supportive. “I think he was trying to be funny,” is what you say about someone who has been making you uncomfortable or embarrassed but you just don’t want to make a big deal of it. People laugh when they’re uncomfortable. Servers laugh for tips. OP’s impression that everyone is on his side may be way off.
yeah, jokes aside. if you don't need something why still trying to take it home. kinds proves the point of his friend. frugal or not.