Kate Dries, Lover of Pets and Titanic, Is Leaving Us

Images of Kate Dries enjoying seafood via an anonymous
donor.

It’s no stretch to say that Jezebel would not have functioned
over the past four years without the firm-yet-loving guidance
of our Deputy Editor, Kate Dries. Our staff is, for lack of a
better term, toddler savants who often get derailed by our own
idiocy during the workday. And like a patient, no-bullshit,
working mother, Kate will corral us and get us back to
work—devastating us with some excellent burns and making it
look easy, even though it definitely is not.

This week, Kate is leaving Jezebel and it’s safe to say that we
are completely heartbroken and seething with jealousy over
whoever gets her next. But, because we are dum-dum bloggers who
bury our feelings in sarcasm and cynicism, we’re gonna roast
the hell out of her instead of giving her the sincere send-off
she deserves.

Madeleine Davies, Jezebel

Kate and I are the two longest running Jezebel staffers, so I
can say with authority that Kate is a walking joke. Sure, she’s
alright if your idea of a “friend” is someone who will
frequently invite you over to eat her amazing cooking and never
ask you to pay for the groceries, or take you out for drinks
when you’re sad, or let you nap on her couch while you’re
trying to liveblog the Academy Awards together and it gets so
boring that you nod off, or invite you to her family’s home
when you’re alone for the holidays. If that’s a “friend” to
you, then fiiiiiiiine, she seems pretty amazing, but
it’s probably not and so she is not.

Kate and I first became very good “friends” a couple months
after she started in 2013 when she asked me if I’d like to go
see Austenland with her—it was a puzzling choice
considering that most people did not want to see
Austenland in general, but Kate somehow inherently
knew that I did. Either before or after the movie, we had
drinks and hit it off so well that—individually—we both told
friends later that if our night together was an actual date,
we’d both feel really excited with how it went and the future
we could potentially have together.

Over the past several years, Kate has become one of my best
friends. We’ve traveled together, emptied countless bottles of
wine, fought (unrelated to wine consumption, believe it or
not), made up, and did it all over again. As an editor, she has
helped shape my work and make it better—something that can be
said by everyone who works with her. I know this is long, but
the truth is I’ll miss working with her a lot because every
moment I spend as her friend is a great one.

Anyway, here’s a photo booth series we took with some “man
servants” at an event we attended for the biggest Fifty
Shades of Grey
fans in the world, something
we did not know
when walking in.

But because this is a roast: Fuck you, Kate!

Emma Carmichael, former Editor-in-Chief of Jezebel

There’s a lot about Kate Dries that people don’t know, so I’d
like to share some of it on this occasion, her last week at
Jez. From a distance one might observe a steely, lifelong New
Yorker who has no time for your bullshit and plenty of time for
The Bachelor, but there’s so much more to Kate. She
loves
dogs
, for instance, and listening to her coworkers talk at
length about the various pets they own and also what kind of
poops those pets did that morning, in great detail. (Tweet her
yours right now; you’ll see.) She believes in ghosts, which
might seem weird, but she’s seen a few ghosts in her day—if you
ever get to hear a Kate Dries ghost story, boy, you won’t
forget it. Her favorite movie is Titanic, which is why
we covered the movie for
a week straight
here on Jezebel last year. (She even
assigned me
this blog
, which seemed so crazy at the time. “No one will
get it!” I told her. “Just trust me,” Kate said. She was
right.) Her favorite writing to read, even in her free time, is
media reporting, which she believes is currently in its first
true heyday. And she goes bananas for a public party in which
she’s presented with cake. You ever want to see pure happiness?
Throw Kate Dries a highly public, Titanic-themed
birthday party with only dogs in attendance and gift her a copy
of the Columbia Journalism Review archives, printed
out in binders. Her birthday is this Saturday. Thank me later.

And one day many Titanic birthdays from now, when
she’s elected mayor of New York, I’ll pitch a statue of Kate at
the location of her choosing, because she deserves the best for
giving everyone at GMG her best, every damn day, and for making
the blog run seamlessly and with joy for nearly five years.
Kate’s genuine love for Jezebel, and her unmatched dedication
to its voice and cause, made the site what it is today. So
she’s gonna get a statue. I have the pose picked out and
everything—see below—but I’ll need her help to plan and execute
it because I can’t get anything done without her.

Dodai Stewart, Editor-in-Chief of Splinter, formerly
Deputy Editor of Jezebel

Here’s Kate Dries discussing a YouTube video of Dame Joan
Collins auctioning off some of her old clothes:


Hamilton Nolan, Splinter

Kate Dries recently told me she is “great at giving presents.”
Shortly after that she announced that she’s leaving us. Turns
out she’s actually terrible at giving presents.

Regardless I know she will go on to bigger and better things
and I pray that she one day gives me a present good enough to
restore her reputation.


Will Sansom, GMG

I genuinely expected Kate to be in this office until she died,
so I’m still trying to process that I won’t be seeing her eye
rolls every day anymore. My first few interactions with Kate
involved me making a joke or trying to make her laugh and
getting zero feedback from Kate – nothing at all. I’d go sit
down and try to figure out if I said something wrong, wondering
if this person hates me. Four years later I’m still not sure if
she likes me, but we text about real housewives, gossip a lot,
and frequently party together so I’m pretty sure we’re good
friends?

Kate is a very good friend, and she’s actually a very positive,
bright person under her resting disappointed affect – but she
wouldn’t want you to know that. She’s younger than me, and much
smarter, so it only makes sense that she would outgrow this
space and move on to better and bigger things. While I will
miss her wit and snark, I’m excited to see what’s next for her
and will eternally miss sharing our disgust for everyone around
us. May the bridges the housewives burn light out future and
keep us together forever. Love you Kate! 

Sam Woolley, GMG Art

When I first came to Gawker (yes, that place), Kate was beyond
cool to me and we bonded quickly because we were both from NYC.
Fast forward to almost four years later and she has never been
as nice to me as she was that first week, yet has no problem
eating my leftover fries. I’ll miss you dearly, young Driesy.

Max Read, former colleague

I can say with confidence that Kate Dries’s performance of
“Smooth” by Santana feat. Rob Thomas is the standard against
which all others should be judged.

Bobby Finger, Jezebel

Let me open with this admission: I didn’t know how to pronounce
“Dries” until about a year into my time at Jezebel, and during
that year I went out of my way to avoid saying her name out
loud. When I finally learned her name rhymed with “trees” and
not “cries” or “Reese,” I went out of my way to say it whenever
possible. I’ll miss you, Kate Dries! Good luck with everything,
Kate Dries! I’ll probably still see you somewhat regularly,
Kate Dries!

From the time I took over the morning edition of Dirt Bag, Kate
Dries was the first person in the outside world I communicated
with every single weekday (and often one of the last people I
texted with every night). Our late-night/early-morning rundowns
of the day’s most worthless news became a treasured part of my
morning routine—the antidote to political horrors and
nightmarish commutes—and it will be tough to enjoy my coffee
without Kate Dries’s gentle reminders that a story “is already
on the site” or that headline is a tad inappropriate.

Oh wait, I still have Kate Dries’s phone number, and we are
*friends.* Never mind, nothing’s changing. Talk to you later,
Kate Dries.

Kate Knibbs, former colleague

Kate Dries scared the ever-loving crap out of me for the first
three to eight months I knew her, because she doesn’t suffer
fools, and I am regularly foolish. This might make her seem
unpleasant to be around, but she is perfect to be around,
because you can just look at her face to figure out if
something stupid is happening. She’s a bullshit bellwether.

Also, one time last winter, we went hiking—yes, that’s a
brag—and when we got back from the hike, I drank a bunch of
boxed wine and then tripped head-first into a rock, giving
myself a tremendous black eye. I deserved, at that moment, to
be regarded with Kate’s most withering stare, but instead she
just asked if I was OK, because Kate Dries is also secretly a
kind-hearted angel.

Hazel Cills, Jezebel

Kate was the first person I met when I came in for my first day
at Jezebel. Literally, the first and only person, because none
of you bitches were here at 11 a.m. to greet me. And
immediately I found Kate to be an extremely, intimidatingly
cool editor. Here was a woman who grew her own herbs, for god’s
sake. Who would not, ever, even for a second, entertain the
idea that ghosts are rael (even though they definitely are!).
Who would turn on ALL THE LIGHTS each morning when she came in,
startlingly all of us in the dark like flailing vampires. In
the times that we’ve worked together she’s been a meticulous,
insightful editor with a terrifyingly terse Slack style and I’m
very jealous of whoever gets to work with her next. Au revoir,
Kate!

Megan Reynolds, Jezebel

Kate Dries hates everything that I love— talking about pets,
most lunch places, the concept of “Just Salad”—but I still like
Kate Dries. When she told us that she was departing Jezebel, I
told her that I would bring her a sheep from the Sheep and Wool
festival upstate, but I forgot. Kate, please don’t go. I have
the sheep. It’s at your desk. It will be there forever.

Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, Jezebel

There are a lot of things to admire about Kate, but everyone
will best remember her for her emotional nature and passionate
dedication to dogs and expensive salads. On a personal note, I
will miss her puzzled side-eyes from across the cubicle; no one
gives a withering look like Kate, but it never feels like a
dagger to the heart, because she’s got so much genuine love
behind it. You know what else Kate loves? HUGS. You should hug
her next time you see her, she’s as into effusive displays of
affection almost as much as she loves hearing about
the minutiae of your Chop’t order. I dedicate this song and
video to you, Dries.

Clover Hope, Jezebel

I first met Kathryn Dries at a casual rooftop mixer for Emma’s
new Jezebel hires (which included myself) and existing staff.
At the time, Kate had been spending a week wearing the same
pair of men’s $100 sweatpants. For
a blog
. I remember the sweatpants because she was standing
up while wearing them. I will never forget two things: 9/11 and
Kate Dries in those sweatpants. I remember thinking, who is
this cool, tall person in cool sweatpants? Everyone at Jezebel
intimidated me then, but most of all Kate, because I believe
she loves to be intimidating and she loved those sweatpants.
She has the spirit of a big little sister who knows she is
smart and will not let you forget it and also cooks and knows a
lot of things, which is helpful. She’s the worst because she’s
the best. I’m sad she’s leaving, but it’s time she fulfill her
dream of launching her own magazine Ultimate Animals and
Pets, Which I Love
. I wish her nothing but bad luck and
centuries of nightmares after she leaves. Kate, I love you less
and less everyday.

Also please dox her with these screenshots:

Phoebe Bradford, Jezebel

I have known Kate since she was 14 (evidence below) and
basically spent ages 10-25 feeling very intimidated by her.
Getting the initial nod from her to even apply for the Jezebel
video gig felt like I had finally transcended some cool kid
peak and I was friggin’ honored. After landing the job she sent
me a very tender congrats email that read: “we’re gonna do some
good shit.” Damn, that was cool too.

And then I started working here… One time she tried (and
failed) to come up with a title pun about high heels for
approximately 48 hours. There was enough earnest distress in
that exchange that I finally realized we were both massive
nerds and that was cool. I also somehow convinced her to sing
Spice Girls on camera (showstopper) and stole her personal copy
of Spice World for a couple of weeks (oops).

Kate truly has the patience of a saint and the ability to
empower everyone around to her to trust their gut and dig into
their weirdest interests in order to share it with the world. I
have never had a guiding force quite like it and tho I only
worked with her for six short months—I’ll miss it dearly. I
hope the future brings you amazing opportunities (it will) and
a new found look on domesticated animals (it wont). I am really
genuinely excited to see what you do next.

That being said, we’re all gonna look like this now that you’re
gone. (Please don’t kill me or Maya for this.)

Tom Ley, Deadspin

🙁

Anna Merlan, Special Projects Desk

What’s the opposite of suffering fools gladly? Nuking fools
from space? Shooting them from a helicopter like Sarah Palin’s
most deranged wolf-hunting fever dreams? Whatever that is,
that’s what Kate does.

In the ordinary course of her life, Kate Dries is laid-back,
mild-mannered, and kind. She’s remarkably well-adjusted for
someone who chose writing as a career. But when she decides she
doesn’t like someone, the force of her quiet contempt is
annihilating, crop-killing, city-leveling. The target of her
implacable yet totally polite hatred probably goes through the
rest of life feeling a cold chill over them, unable to place
the source of their permanent unease.

I can’t show you most of Kate’s funniest, most withering
insults because she texts them to me about people we mutually
dislike. But here is something she once said to the staff of
Jezebel when we were blathering on about something and she’d
finally had enough:

Victor Jeffries, GMG

Kate is wonderful.

Fin.

Kelly Stout, Jezebel

Kate constantly did the hardest jobs that come with the least
applause at Jezebel, and did them with the toughness of a real
housewife and the dedication of a bachelorette who was here for
the right reasons. In the time I worked for Kate, I never once
saw her put herself before the blog and the staff. This is one
of the rarest of qualities in both a boss and friend, and one I
admire very much. I do not, however, admire her position on
pets.

Ellie Shechet, Jezebel

Kate Dries, my deskmate and friend, is good at many things:
telling stories, knowing answers, loudly pointing out my
embarrassing nervous tics in social settings. She is also, of
course, an incredibly talented and deeply supportive editor
with a dogged, relentless mind. I’m thinking in particular
about the entire summer of 2017, when Kate texted me
frequently, sometimes in the middle of the night, about the
long-running Instagram story of a woman named Alina Gonzalez,
who was fired from Cupcakes & Cashmere after her coworker
told Cupcakes & Cashmere founder Emily Schuman that Alina
was secretly working from home. I’ll never forget how impressed
I was that Kate kept such a close eye on this (Instagram) story
as it developed. Kate—thanks for your passion!

Erin Gloria Ryan, former Jezebel Managing
Editor

The first time I met Kate Dries in person was at roof party at
the old Gawker offices in SoHo. We were Roof Drunk, which is
summer drunk but more dangerous, because stairs and heights are
involved. I have no recollection of what we said that night
except for a moment when Kate said the most perfect, cutting
comment. I laughed and told her she was a “spectacular bitch.”
And I meant it in the best possible way.

Her mark on Jezebel has been singular. She’s somehow both
plugged into the teenz and sophisticated in her sensibility, a
combination of traits I always admired.

Kate works really fucking hard, which would be enough for the
average person to succeed if they didn’t also have one of the
fastest brains on the planet. I’m sure whatever she does
next—writing, editing, maintaining the world’s first literary
Pitch Perfect 2 fan zine, atomic gardening,
whatever—she’ll be the best at it. Kate and I were once
roommates, by the time I turn 40 she will probably be my
landlord.

Kelly Faircloth, Jezebel

Galling as this is, I would like to take this venue to admit
that Kate Dries—believe it or not—was correct in our
December 2013

dispute
, shortly after I began working at Jezebel. After
decorating my most recent tree, I am forced to admit that white
Christmas lights are better. You win this round, Dries.

Rich Juzwiak, Jezebel

Kate has never looked particularly happy to see me. I relate to
that. I’m never particularly happy to see me either. And to be
fair, Kate has never looked upset to see me. I do not mean to
be negative or even affectionately roast; this is a celebration
of Kate’s no-bullshit spirit. She’s such a straight shooter,
you may be inclined to duck when she enters the room. But to do
so would be to miss out on her great service of honesty without
sugarcoating, an essential editorial characteristic and
something I find far too lacking in passive-aggressive,
appearance-obsessed society. I admire Kate immensely and I will
miss being kept on my toes.

Joanna Rothkopf, Jezebel

Kate Dries has been harassing me essentially nonstop since I
started working at Jezebel, like I’m a doll or her friend’s
younger sister who “doesn’t know how to talk yet.” She’s
constantly sneaking up behind me to catch me in the act, or
stroking the back of my head with one finger, or mocking me for
the size of my hands. But I could never feud with her because
she is also an outstanding editor and managed a collection of
blog trolls as if they were her daughters through a very
stressful time. I love her very much but would never say it to
her face.

Jia Tolentino, former Jezebel Deputy Editor

Here is one of my fondest mental images of Kate Dries. I can’t
remember whether this was one of the nights that a Jezebel
staffer puked in my bathroom or backyard, whichever happened to
be closest, but I can say with certainty that we were listening
to the Chainsmokers and fucking loving it.

 Kara Brown, former Jezebel staff writer and
current television writer

The relationship between a writer and her editor is an
important one—built on admiration, professionalism and, most
importantly, trust. Kate Dries routinely and blatantly broke
that trust, often and, unfortunately for me, to hilarious
results. Almost every (admittedly) stupid question or comment I
made to Kate over Gchat or text somehow found its way into our
Jezebel slack room and sometimes even Twitter if I was
particularly unlucky.

It’s as if she carefully noted and stowed away each gaffe to
use as evidence against me when I tried to convince someone I’m
not a total idiot. It was brutal. It was also fair. “Brutal”
and “fair” are two perfect words to describe Kate. She is
brutal when it comes to wit and instincts and is reliably
fair-minded even when I hate it. Also, she is a kind person and
a great friend but, you know, whatever. And one time she made
me macaroni and cheese at 4-ish am and tucked me into bed and
it was adorable.

Relatedly, here is Kate Dries, as a grown-ass adult, tasting
Popeye’s Chicken for the first time in her entire life. Freak!

Emma Dries, sister

Kate, I’m sorry for this (but also I’m not that sorry). Anyway,
it sucks for anyone who has to lose Kate as a coworker or boss,
but luckily I’m stuck with her for life. ​


Dance into the sunset, sweet princess.

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