No, that weird experience is not "how things are done here in Texas"--it's rude regardless of state.
It was rude of almost everyone involved, except for you. I'm afraid that were I in your shoes my bewildered DH would not get a bye for abandoning me on New Year's Eve under these circumstances, either.
I get a sense that GEE must be sort of the Queen Bee of the group, to be able to command that much power over the other guys. I know in certain groups that I've been a part of, there's usually one person whose opinion / vote is worth more than anyone else's. For example, in a quilting group I was in, the other eight or nine members of the group could decide, "Okay, we're going to hold the Christmas party at X location,"--but if the Queen Bee of the group showed up, she had absolute veto power and could change whatever decision had been made and agreed upon with a snap of her fingers (and would, too, just because she could). No other member of the group had the grapes to say Boo to her. But everyone wanted to be a part of the group and so they put up with / went along with her. (Eventually the group imploded, but that's a story for another time.)
It sounds like GEE (or by extension, GEE's wife) runs this group, and the others, for whatever reason, go along with him / her. I can sympathize with your DH, wanting to be a part of things, wanting to abscond along with the food to GEE's house. Sympathize, but not agree with!
In the heat of the moment, odd things happen, but now you're more prepared for this group's dynamics.