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