Hello all, I have a social/family dilemma, help would be SO appreciated!.
I'm graduating from med school in two weeks. It feels like a big deal for me, and I wanted to have a party to celebrate. I mentioned that to my family, and my husband and mother offered to plan it all. Very sweet of them.
Some weeks pass, they decide to have it at my Mom's house after the ceremony, order in food (appetizers and a casual main dish and dessert, some wine and beer), and have about 26 close friends and family. (Of note, most of these will be my husband's family, as mine is very small. I am close with them though, and glad they're coming.) Many are coming from adjoining states, and a couple good friends and an aunt all the way from NY (we live in WI). I feel grateful and honored that they want to come.
Problem: my lovely but occasionally very cheap mom has recently decided that she no longer wants to order in, she wants make "a lot of Zaitarains jumbalaya" (sp?) instead and make it BYOB, as it is cheaper. (to answer the question, no-one hosting is any monetary troubles) My husband felt this was sorta cheap and rude to the nice guests, given all their trouble, and my husband offered to order the food himself and pay for it (aiming for casual but good food/atmosphere). She insists that she'll just make the mix when we all get back from the ceremony (~6PM) and it'll be ready in 1/2 hr and it'll cost something like 50 cents per person. She's very proud of this. (I don't think it'll take only 1/2 hr to fix that much food, even if it is just a mix, so I also worry that guests will just be sitting around.) She is also already making noises about how much trouble this will be for her.
My mom does like running things, but rarely entertains and has never had to do big family get-togethers (small family). She also usually gets her way, and does fixate on what she thinks are good ideas. She has been known to pout/complain/yell through parties/celebrations if she feels she didn't get her way.
Now...I don't wanna sound snooty, or ungrateful for the party, but I feel this is kinda mean to the guests working so hard to get here. I get that she gets a thrill out of spending so little, and she really thinks there's no difference between the two plans. I admit I cringe thinking about how rude it seems, and what I was really looking forward to as a BIG day seems pretty cruddy now.
So... 1) Does it seem weird/rude/unreasonable to serve Zaitarains mix at a gathering like this?
2) Husband is working on wearing her down abit, but any suggestions on what to do? (We're happy to pay for it all ourselves and have said so.)